In the NAD President's Blog, Bobbie Beth Scoggins writes:
We know that this is not the first time that AGBell has reacted in this manner to high-profile use of ASL, which AGBell may perceive as detracting from its exclusive focus on speaking and listening.
When we began our journey using the oral approach with Jordan, he wore hearing aids and we were told this buzz phrase that scared the shit out of me, so no, I did not go that extra mile to learn LIS. Also because as I've said before the language barrier with Italian was more than enough for my stressed out mind to handle. Also... couldn't find many Deaf role models around Grosseto, just a seventeen year old here and there who brought the sign language alphabet card with a stuffed animal to our dinner table asking for money because he was Deaf. I refused to see my son's life in that way and was so angry that another Deaf person was condemned to that life.
Jordan struggled with hearing aids for eight years. He was successful to a certain degree, but very, very frustrated
*He is not frustrated at all with his cochlear implant*
It's so ironic. Because I truly believe that cochlear implants give a baby enough hearing from the beginning so as to dispel that "buzz phrase" and allow that child to incorporate sign without having to worry that such sign would interfere in his/her successful speech development process. This is a key point to acknowledge in reaching some type of compromise in this dialogue - not war- dialogue...
NAD seems to accept cochlear implants in their letter:
We welcome all people who value ASL, and we promote opportunities for the acquisition and use of ASL in addition to English in its various forms, with or without the use of hearing technologies, to enable successful participation in all aspects of American society, including the deaf community.
...The premise being that the child is Deaf without the ci, so the child should learn ASL; the child is "hearing" with the ci, so av therapy is necessary to stimulate speech and language development. Obviously what I am saying pertains to profoundly deaf ci candidates, but isn't that what this is about anyway? Those kids who are profoundly deaf? If this is the premise for a program of action, this would mean that the Deaf community would have to accept the ci as a valid option in approaches to Deafness and AgBell would have to formally incorporate the use of ASL in its objectives. There needs to be some logical basis...not just passion for one side or another.
In any case, I thought the NAD letter was very well-written:
In the view of the NAD, every deaf person has a unique place in American society, with basic human rights with respect to identity, cultural affiliation, and self-expression. This viewpoint, with emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness, forms the foundation for our existence as an organization and as a community.
We expect the same respect from AGBell on behalf of the community we represent.
Their point was...Loud and Clear.