This is the message Katie Hosmer, MSU Deaf Ed student, wants you to read and be there at the ASL rally tomorrow! Please see previous post for ASL rally information. Thanks! ~ MDC Committee
Everyone, the time has come to make drastic changes in our campaign to save deaf education and American Sign Language at Michigan State University.
As I’ve said before, MSU administrators seem to have made up their mind. They have already begun closing American Sign Language courses DESPITE the fact that we were told they would be open at least another year. Is it because of low enrollment? NO! ASL classes at MSU are overflowing with students!
Signs are posted all over campus saying, “Take a Less Commonly Taught Language at MSU!” with Tagalog, Thai, and Uzbek as just a few of the options. So if they claim that they cannot afford ASL because of low enrollment… I think we’ve got some issues here.
Oh, and did you know? Rumor has it, MSU officials are claiming that American Sign LANGUAGE is NOT a “real” language. As we all know, ASL IS INDEED a “real” language that is rich in cherology (phonology), morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. ASL is able to show past tense, negation, questions, and commands. It has the capacity to be acquired naturally and express and thought or idea. Therefore, AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE IS A REAL LANGUAGE!!
Not to mention, American Sign Language is the THIRD most commonly used LANGUAGE in the United States. THIRD.
So if it’s not about money…how many people use ASL… or whether or not it is a “real” language…then WHAT IS IT ABOUT?!
I’ll tell you what.
INJUSTICE. DISCRIMINATION. IGNORANCE. AUDISM.
We’re done asking MSU, “WHY?” We know why. It’s time to show them what a HUGE MISTAKE they are making.
So where will you be on the morning of Friday, April 16, 2010? Please, join us in our FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE!
ALSO!! – On Tuesday, April 20, from 8 – 9 am we will be meeting with Provost Kim Wilcox and Dean Carole Ames, the people ultimately responsible for the decision to close the program. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Thank you everyone!!
Deaf comedian CJ Jones is coming to Michigan State University!
Day: Thursday, April 1, 2010
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: MSU (exact location TBA)
UPDATE on Location & time: The event will be held in 118 Psychology on MSU’s campus. Doors open at 7pm.
Hat-tip to commenter Cidney Goldston
CJ is CEO, producer, director, writer, actor, comedian, musician, and motivational speaker. He has traveled with the National Theatre of the Deaf and toured with “Children of a Lesser God” on Broadway. He has also appeared on NBC’s “Frasier,” ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights,” the PBS television shows “Sesame Street” and “Rainbow’s End,” and was the host of “Happy Hands Kids Klub.” His latest job was a “voice over” for a Deaf Indian (played by a hearing actor) in a movie called “PathFinder” from 20th Century Fox. (From his website at www.CJJoneslive.com)
Hat tip to Katie Hosmer, MSU Deaf Education Major.
From Katie Hosmer, MSU Student:
Looks like we’re back in business! Sorry for the repetition…
1. SHOW UP TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
This Friday at 9:30, the Board of Trustees will be meeting on the fourth floor of the Admin building at MSU. Come at 8:30 and bring your signs!
At 9:00 we’ll head up to the meeting. It is imperative that as many of us show as possible—the BoT must know that this is important for Deaf and signing communities in Michigan! Stay if you can for three wonderful speakers:
Scot Pott, President of the MDA
Melissa Rich, representative of the Deaf community
Natalie Grupido, an instructor at MSD
Bring friends! Park at Breslin, it’s cheaper. If you want to plan a carpool or need a ride, contact Katie Hosmer at email@example.com. We will try to make sure everyone who wants to be there can be there.
2. KEEP SENDING EMAILS
Keep up the email blitz! A trustee approached a working interpreter and mentioned they had never received so many emails in support of a program before… don’t slow down! Copy the following emails in to your mail client and send them a one sentence reason why they should keep the deaf ed program open!
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, RTurner@ClarkHill.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, MCTACMM@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. TALK TO A FRIEND
Talk to a friend who doesn’t know anything about sign language or deaf ed and explain how important this is. The more people we can get to show up to meetings, email the board, and spread the correct information the more likely we are to get MSU’s attention!
Also, sign up for our email list at
Save Deaf Ed at MSU | Google Groups
From Katie Hosmer, MSU student:
I apologize if this is the second time you’ve gotten this message but it seems that several people failed to receive it the first time I tried sending it (last Thursday)
Last Wednesday, we had a meeting at LCC to discuss our next steps in saving Deaf Ed and ASL at MSU. If you were unable to attend, here’s a brief summary:
We designated 6 committees to plan our upcoming events. (PLEASE email me at email@example.com if you would like to join any of these so I can add you to the emailing list!)
1. “B.o.T.” Board of Trustees meeting – which is when?! FRIDAY, FEB. 12 meeting starts at 9:30 AM 🙂
2. “The Rock” – this group is in charge of planning a date to paint the famous rock at MSU, writing on sidewalks with chalk, etc.
3. “Propaganda” – flyers, postcards, etc. to be spread everywhere on campus!
4. “Vlog” – email us letters, speeches, whatever you’ve got!
5. “Special Sit-Ins” – we will be crowding unexpected rooms on MSU’s campus at any given time… email for more info 😉
6. “Media” – we need any and all media contacts we can possibly get!
Also, we have decided that our official slogan will be, “No Deaf Child Left Behind” (as you may have seen on the flyers and posters at the rally)
LASTLY, I apologize for the repetition but it’s imperative that I keep reminding everyone…
B.o.T. meeting THIS FRIDAY! Please come EARLY with signs, posters, or banners to carry while marching around the Hannah Administration Building. We will start at 8:30 a.m. Thanks again, I can’t wait to see you all there!
Save Deaf-Ed! MSU Board of Trustees Meeting
Date: Friday, February 12, 2010
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Hannah Administration Building – 4th floor
City/Town: East Lansing, MI
We need all the support we could receive for this upcoming BoT meeting to save the Deaf Education Program & ASL classes.
An event has been created for this BoT on Facebook that you can invite your friends and family to attend this meeting, but you must log in to be able to see this: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=295122211922&ref=mf
For latest updates & information: KEEP DEAF-ED MAJOR AT MSU!
NOTE: After this post, I will remove the old email subscription (“Subscribe to Michigan Deaf Community by Email”) so please make sure you have already subscribed – either by the new Email Subscription feature or the RSS feed.
This coming Wednesday, February 3, we will be holding a meeting at Lansing Community College in the Arts and Sciences building, room 121 at 7 p.m. to discuss our next steps in our fight to save Deaf Education and ASL classes at MSU.
Bring ideas and any resources you may have! (Including media!)
Directions can be found here: http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us/maps/main/
Also! In today’s State News…
Lastly, this is a REMINDER that on FEBRUARY 12, 2010 there will be a Board of Trustees meeting on the 4th floor of the Hannah Administration Building at MSU (where we held the rally).
We need all the supporters we can possibly get! You do NOT have to speak. Your attendance alone will be the greatest help of all.
As always, please contact me with any questions/concerns you may have. 🙂
Thanks again everyone!
Dear Provost Wilcox:
We take the opportunity with this letter to reiterate concerns that you have already heard about the closing of the Deaf Education Program at MSU; however, we feel we would be remiss if we did not support our colleagues and clarify our programs at Eastern Michigan University.
There are two distinctly different philosophies to educating children who are deaf and hard of hearing and given this there are two distinctly different approaches to preparing teachers to teach these children. For over 80 years Eastern Michigan University has been preparing teachers to use an auditory-oral approach to teach children, ie utilizing residual hearing through hearing aids and cochlear implants and teaching students to use spoken language.
Parents of young deaf children who are diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing choose the educational approach and deserve a highly qualified teacher in whichever approach they choose. Eastern Michigan University can not meet the needs of parents who choose the Deaf culture, American Sign Language option. Eastern Michigan University can not meet the need for teachers at the Michigan School for the Deaf or at other programs with a Deaf culture, American Sign Language approach.
Closing the Deaf Education program at MSU would jeopardize many K-12 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Programs in the State of Michigan, including the School for the Deaf. Without an appropriate training program in the state, Deaf programs that rely on teachers who are highly qualified in American Sign Language would have to look for teachers out of state. Young people who wish to go into teaching this approach would have to seek programs out of the state as well.
The two distinctly different programs, one at MSU and one at EMU have worked well for many years and have been able to adequately meet the need for teachers for the deaf and hard of hearing in the State of Michigan. Your decision to close the Deaf Education program at MSU would have far reaching implications for teachers, children and families in Michigan.
Faculty of the Department of Special Education
College of Education
Eastern Michigan University
Edited 1/23/2010: Corrected incorrect word usage: residual hearing instead of residential hearing.