WPSD Oppression.

WPSD

Some of you may know or some of you may not know but in the recent news for the Deaf community is that there is a protest going on against Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania because some of the students and some alumni have come out in the public saying that the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) oppresses the students or anyone else who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing but in general the Deaf community’s natural language American Sign Language (ASL). Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) is one of few institutions for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing people, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf is considered the third institution type of school for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people where it offers all levels of education such as Grade, Middle and High school in one place for anyone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The students along with the alumni who graduated from Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) are very angry with the administrations because they says that they were treated poorly from the administration from WPSD but that isn’t the only problem that the students or alumni have with the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) they also have a problem with the program that the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) offers along with the recent incident where the president or superintendent made an announcement that he is retiring this year.

These are three of few reasons that the students, alumni and anyone else in the Deaf community who understands the frustrations that the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) students has launched protests against the institution in few ways, protesting in front of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD), using hashtags on social media such as Twitter or Facebook with #WPSDOppression and #WPSDHungerStrike.

WPSD = Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

As for the program that Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) runs on, they are not willing to promote American Sign Language (ASL) because they prefer the students to communicate in simultaneous communication (simcom) where the students communicates using the voice with sign language and many said that the simultaneous communication (simcom) have proved that they are failure because it is not a natural communication for the students as the people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing’s natural way of communication would be American Sign Language (ASL) which in my opinion/belief I agree with them myself because like some people said that using simultaneous communication is like speaking English language with French language at the same time which is impossible to do so just like with the simultaneous communication for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing people. English is natural language for the people who able to hear, English is a spoken language also a written language as well but for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing people natural language is American Sign Language which is for visual since they cannot hear or not being able to hear enough to understand the spoken language such as English. So the Deaf community is protesting against Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) because they want the program that the institution in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) offers to be changed such as BI-BI program where it offers the students with American Sign Language (ASL) primarily along with other communication tools as alternative and if their students prefer different kind of communication then they can choose one of the alternatives such as simultaneous communication, CUED speech or others that suits the students best but American Sign Language (ASL) to be the main for Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) since American Sign Language (ASL) is Deaf or Hard of Hearing people’s natural language.

Majority of the Deaf community including both alumni/students who attends Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) uses American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language which this is what upsets the Deaf community because at the institution’s program uses simultaneous communication in the first place, it is as if you only know English but enrolls in some school for the first time to only find out that the program that the school offers you are attending is Spanish so you get the idea of the situation that the Deaf community is in with Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD). So many of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing people protesting to try to change how the administration of the institution Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) runs for the future of Deaf or Hard of Hearing children so that they wouldn’t have the same horrible experience that the alumni, students, facilities, teachers or some staffs that uses American Sign Language (ASL) experiences at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) which that is why they are also in the protests too with everyone else which this caused three teachers to be fired just because these three teachers wants the same thing that the Deaf community wants for the best of the future children.

That is one of few reasons that some of the people in the Deaf community who is upset with Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD), as the other one is that recently the president or superintendent made announcement that the president or superintendent Donald Rhoten is retiring this year. No, believe me that’s not what upsets them because they are more than happy that he is retiring but what did he do to upsets them? In that announcement where he made a video to announce that he is retiring and in that video he used the papers where he flips each paper with words to announce that he is retiring this year which this bought the uproar to the Deaf community because he didn’t announce his retirement in a video using American Sign Language (ASL) since it is coming from a Deaf institution. Imagine your English institution or English university president announcing his or her retirement speaking in German language so that considered an insult to the Deaf community especially the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) students or alumni.

These are few of the problems which caused the ongoing protest at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) by Deaf community but mainly the biggest problem of all is that what the Deaf institution such as Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) doing is oppressing students, alumni and Deaf community by putting the barrier to their communication especially American Sign Language (ASL) in particular as they are their natural language which is the language that the students, alumni and everybody else preferred for their communication including the employees. When they begins the protest against Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) using some hashtags on social media such as #WPSDOppression or #WPSDHungerStrike and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf had the audacity to attack back by showing #WPSDProud on their screenings or whatever it is that they are called but it’s where you see a board with wordings lights up in red text as you drive by. Of course that obviously upsets the Deaf community to no end and while they are protesting against Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) to change their program from simultaneous communication (SimCom) to American Sign Language (ASL) program they are also protesting to have the administration to be changed as well to have from 51% to 75% Deaf people in the administration just like they did in 1988 Deaf President Now (DPN) at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C where they successfully made the Gallaudet University to have at least 51% Deaf people in the administration. Since then the Gallaudet University stuck with at least 51% or higher Deaf people in the administration along with the only Deaf presidents as since the 1988 Deaf President Now protest they never changed as from that year there has been different Deaf presidents and this year they elected a new Deaf president for 2016 term.

Here are a few of videos where the Deaf people are sharing their frustrations or angers in the public about what is going on with Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf including one of well-known Deaf person Ella Lentz. Note that below is a playlist with a few of the videos so to prevent the article to be very lengthy with too many videos so playlist with few of the videos to be in one place instead of all over in this article.

Click the video to play or to pick a different video(s) to play, to go to a different video in the playlist you click on an icon at the top left corner where it’ll show you 3 lines/bars along the number of videos besides the title of the videos and when you click on that icon it will slides a sidebar on the left with a list of videos for you to pick which videos you’d like to play. All of the videos are in American Sign Language (ASL) but a few of them have closed caption for any of you who doesn’t know American Sign Language to read so to understand what the person in the video are saying and some videos the person who uploads them provides transcript for you to read too. Also in this playlist it should automatically go to the next video once the video you were watching finishes but if it doesn’t then click that icon for the next video to watch in the playlist. There are a few of the videos in the playlist and there may be few more of the videos to come once I find some more so be sure to keep checking back in this article to keep an eye of yours for the update to see if there’s new videos added to the playlist where there may be some updates from somebody else who share their views on the protest or Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. If I find anything else such as new information or updates I will edit this article below here with the dates for when I have edited this article with new updates on the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) issues too.

The Deaf community is complaining that what the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf doing, especially the administration is audism and for the definition of the audism word:

Audism: is the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or to behave in the manner of one who hears, or that life without hearing is futile and miserable, or an attitude based on pathological thinking which results in a negative stigma toward anyone who does not hear.

If you would like to do something to help the Deaf students, alumni or Deaf people within’ in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania around the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf there is a petition at change.org that you may give them your signature to help them and share the petition on your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter or Google+) if you would like to do so: Click here for WPSD petition.

You can also pressure them by sending them an email to let them know a piece of your mind about what Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) administration is doing to the children who currently attends the institution. Click here to visit WPSD contact page.

Opinions and Support.

It is very unfair for what Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) administration to be behaving the way like they are to their Deaf or Hard of Hearing students and their alumni as well. I am not WPSD alumni nor student which is something that I am somewhat glad about that because why in the heck would I attend a Deaf institution if administration would treat me like the way they are treating the attending students, alumni or the entire Deaf community? Just for what administration have done the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf is now considered the last one on my list of institution or any places to receive the education from and that isn’t because of anybody else there but only because of the administration of Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf unless they start listening to what their students or alumni wishes for which is changing their education program to bilingual bicultural (Bi-Bi) which is in my opinion what every Deaf university, college, institution and schools should have for their education program because they are designed specifically for the Deaf people. What also hit me hard is to see what president of Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) did when he announces his retirement in the video where he shows papers with words saying that he is retiring and that sure have destroyed the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) president Donald Rhoten legacy so I obviously very much doubt that anyone will remember him or thank him for what he did for the Deaf institution in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Want to know about bilingual-bicultural education program? Read it here at Wikipedia.

I fully support the protest against the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to change their education program to bilingual-bicultural education program for the future of Deaf children so that they won’t have to experience horribly as the current students or alumni had experienced. Even though I may not be able to protest there in Pittsburgh in person as I am in Kentucky myself so it is somewhat far away but I am certainly there in spirit and for these of you protesters if you need any help with anything please do let me know by either leaving a comment below or send me email by using the contact page which can be found here at the top of the website under the contact tab.

It’s a shame for what Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) does to the children that currently attends there and to the alumni who attended there that have experienced what the children who currently attends experiencing now until to the day they graduate or until we finally do something such as changing their education program and make sure that the administration at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) are doing what every school administrations should be doing in the first place.

Updates

11/5/2015

Chris Wagner, the president of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) have made a vlog asking all the protesters and the institutions to be unified with each others to end the protests against Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD). That video or vlog that the president of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Chris Wagner have made angered some of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in the Deaf community because of what Chris Wagner have said in the video especially where he said that Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) and the Deaf community should be unified. Funny thing is that Chris Wagner who is the president of a national organization/association who supposedly to take responsibility to make sure that the Deaf community to receive what they truly needs by fighting along with the Deaf community but yet Chris Wagner, the president of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is asking the Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals to be unified with the institution Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) who knowingly oppresses their Deaf students or alumni?

Here is a video of Deaf individual, Adrean Clark who complained about National Association of the Deaf (NAD) President Chris Wagner, his response of Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) oppression/hunger strike and its protesters who protests against the Deaf institution Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) for oppressing many Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals including their students and their alumni so the Deaf community including the well-known Deaf producer of ASL Films Mark Wood have said enough is enough.

Open Letter to Chris Wagner, President of NAD

*****Open Letter, Please Share*****[UPDATE: Clarification video at https://www.facebook.com/adrean/videos/10153718229020818/ ]Chris Wagner, your words have failed the WPSD hunger strikers and the ASL Deaf community. I am holding you (and by proxy the NAD Board, Staff, and Members) accountable. I ask you to apologize to the WPSD hunger strikers and propose a plan to support ASL in Deaf schools. If you are not willing to be accountable, to take action in upholding NAD's vision of supporting the best for the Deaf community in the US, then I ask you to make room for someone else who will fulfill that role.

Posted by Adrean Clark on Monday, November 2, 2015

**CLARIFICATION** Re: Chris Wagner Open Letter

English Transcript: [Huge thanks and credit to Philip J. Wolfe!]Hello. I’m Adrean Clark. I want to clarify something. Earlier this morning, Tayler Mayer contacted me and we had a healthy discussion. Tayler’s context in the discussion was beneficial. I thank him for that.Now, the point in this video is that we, as a community, tend to discuss different issues with varied approaches. Sometimes people throw in their feelings because they're angry about something. Sometimes they throw in insults, suggestions, solutions, etc. Every person is unique, so we have diverse approaches. We, as a community, do recognize the differences between each approach. We are able to identify who is supporting positive change and who is being destructive. Are organizations like WPSD and the AGB Association, in addition to the people who support them, able to identify those differences? No. They see it all as one threat. They freak out when our community expresses concerns, desire for change, and seek improvements. Once they are triggered, that’s it, they completely shut down. Those entities tend to contact deaf organizations and leaders to whine about community gossiping, stabbing, and such. Organizations, leaders and so forth then tell our community to "chill out." They dismiss the real issues they face, and refuse to see the difference between those who are trying to help and those who are tearing things down. I am quite disappointed. For your information, I personally do not support such behaviors like attacking, defaming, slander, gossip, and so on. I am seriously against that, however, I must point out that people who behave like this have certain issues that prompt their actions. For instance, they may be angry. They may lack skills in expressing emotions. They may experience triggers from past experience of abuse, oppression, and internalized oppression. There are many possibilities, and those things need to be in mind when seeing people display destructive behaviors. It is not an excuse for their behavior at all but it is good to recognize the possible causes.Now, my concern is that NAD made a blanket “chill out” statement. This one statement was applied to ALL resident schools, organizations and members of the Deaf community. I am gravely concerned about this. Chris in his statement did not honor the two separate groups of people. I strongly feel that Chris owes us an apology with recognition of the groups involved with this situation. NAD needs to work with those who are advocating for change — to work with them in holding accountable WPSD, AGB Association, individuals, and others. Those entities need to understand the difference as well.I hope this video helps clear up any confusion. Thank you all for your participation in discussions and thoughts.

Posted by Adrean Clark on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

~ Joshie.
Follow me on Twitter @JoshiesWorld or other social media.

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