|DBC Newsblast: October 2011|
|Monday, 17 October 2011|
Letter to Telstra Corporation
October 16, 2011
On behalf of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition, we strongly recommend that you rescind Dimity Dornan’s award for Telstra’s Queensland Business Woman of the Year on grounds of cultural and language bigotry. As reported by the Sidney Morning Herald, Dornan stated, “Deafness is a scourge that can be eradicated and consigned to history, just like polio”.
This culturally insensitive comment is quite offensive to the global world of Deaf people who are proud to be Deaf, and cherish their signed languages and cultures in their respective countries. We do not see being Deaf as a “disability” needing to be mitigated by those trying to “help” the deaf. We reject the medical/disability view that comes with the term “deafness”. Dornan’s comment that promotes the eradication of a characteristic of Deaf people is reminiscent of historical attempts by governments to eradicate the language and culture of indigenous peoples with the goal of assimilating them.
Unfortunately, attempts to eradicate the language and culture of Deaf people continue to this day. Dr. Dornan is a former member of the Alexander Graham Bell Association, an American organization founded by Alexander Graham Bell in the 1800’s. Alexander Graham Bell was actively involved with eugenics and promoted the eradication of Deaf culture and language in the name of assimilating Deaf children into the majority society. His philosophy persists in the organization that bears his name. Dr. Dornan continues to spread this message of cultural and language bigotry long after she has left the organization.
On your website, it is clear that Telstra is a community-minded corporation that has been involved in a company-wide initiative that support “priority groups” such as women, indigenous peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. This record is in direct contradiction with the action of rewarding Dr. Dornan for her bigotry toward Deaf people.
Telstra’s Business Woman of the Year organizers and its judges should seek candidates that do not practice bigotry towards any cultural or linguistic minorities, including the Deaf community, in any shape or form.
We urge you to make things right for the Deaf community who sees itself as a cultural and linguistic group.
Deaf Bilingual Coalition
cc: Mark Steyn, Hudson
Check Out: IDEA Child-First Legislation: http://www.ceasd.org/idea/Conference of
Schools and Programs for the
|< Prev||Next >|
Registration Open Now
Info/Register at tilden5k.eventbrite.com.
The Monk & the General
The Deaf Bilingual Coalition is not responsible for content displayed on websites or blogs other than those posted on DBC's official website, www.dbcusa.org.
Visit Clerc's Children at www.clercschildren.com
for Deaf Babies
to Natural Language
Add your name to the growing list on DBC's Petition
View this gift of art to the DBC from Kelly Kirschke!
Many vlogs on this website use Quicktime (mov).
Get it here!