Doing the Oppressor's Work For Them, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

Hiring and the inHumanity of the RID

All right. So Branton Stewart has been going around complaining about how upset he was that Sheneman announced she didn’t get the job before the RID was ready to announce their CEO choice.

Own The Bed You Made, RID.

You dangled the two candidates in front of your membership for feedback. Your idea might have been to engage the membership and excite them about new leadership for the RID. That didn’t seem to work, though, given the results and misunderstandings surrounding the “survey/vote.”

But it did excite deaf people. It built momentum. It built expectations.

Then You Made It Worse. By announcing on April 30 that you had made your choice. So everyone knew. That meant Sheneman must know either way- that she had the job or that she didn’t. Can you imagine how many people asked? The frenzy, the curiosity, the excitement that deaf people would have representation…and how that builds up over time.

And You. Dragged. It. Out.

Yeah. background checks, salary and contract negotiations with Joey, etc. Maybe you should have thought of that first before using Candidate #2 as a token. Or as a tool to excite your membership. Or make more money on membership fees. Whatever.

If you were human, if you had heart, you would have made the announcement as to your final choice much sooner. In fact, you should have done so as soon as you told her she didn’t have the job.

When you get pissed off at Sheneman for remaining silent for four weeks through a barrage of questions without recognizing A) how you set up that situation yourselves from the design of the interview process to your dangling cliffhanger announcement on April 30 to your failure to be able to announce Joey as the CEO immediately upon informing Sheneman and B) without recognizing the emotional effect of having to maintain a facade of “everything’s ok” and smiling at every person who says you’re a shoo-in for a entire month is a pretty fucking difficult task and is in fact commendable, then

You. Have. No. Humanity.

Here’s a public relations tip for next time. “We are close to a decision.” Close would have been true. The final decision is made when the background checks are done and ink on contracts are dry. Close is a very tiny little word that would have spared everyone a lot of pain and embarrassment.

And it makes you seem more thoughtful and deliberative. Taking two weeks instead of two days to make such a significant decision for an organization that’s struggling.

Words matter. Nuance matters.

Stop whining and start taking responsibility for your decisions. This is what happens when you treat hiring like a reality show.

Disability Justice, Disempowerment, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

RID Endorses Medical Model of deafness

Joey Trapani is associated with violence visited upon Deaf Bodies. Abuse. Neglect. Check out the Deaf Ally Blog, The Blunt Truth: Deaf Sphere For information. Joey was director of the National Deaf Academy in Florida when it was plagued by scandals related to abuse and neglect of Deaf patients.

Medicine is at odds with our right to humanity. Medical authorities have proven they cannot be trusted with our basic human rights and access. The Medical Industrial Complex is responsible For language deprivation and massive illiteracy in both ASL and English among Deaf* people. As a result, the Medical-Industrial complex is also responsible for our marginalization in society in every area of our lives as Deaf* people unless we have speaking privileges and literacy privileges.

Sign language is a human right. Sign language interpreting is one of the core principles of our human rights. Joseph Murray is a Deaf Studies scholar and historian who writes a lot about sign language as a human right.

Why would an organization devoted to a profession that defends, upholds, and promotes Deaf* people’s linguistic rights/human rights hire someone from a profession that does everything it can to deny us our humanity and deprive us of our rights? Watch this great video in ASL on this subject by a Deaf person.

Why should non-interpreter Deaf* people care about the RID leadership? Our rights matter. We must defend our rights. We must be the gatekeepers in all situations where our rights are affected. We know best. Not Hearing Know Best. We. Deaf* People.

Back to Joey’s history. Given this history of abuse, violence toward bodies, and neglect at NDA, administrating hospitals, why the hell was Trapani even one of the two finalists? How did that happen? I’m shocked and a lot of people were too.

We fought very hard to be recognized as a sociolinguistic minority and a cultural group of people in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally, we divorced medical view of Deaf people and you bring in someone as a finalist who has a deep background in the medical field and formerly managed the scandal-plagued National Deaf Academy that was shut down for abusing Deaf* people.

This is a stunning obliviousness to the history of institutionalization, medicine, the body, and violence. Nobody associated with the institutionalization of disabled people and deaf people should be in charge of an organization that has a large responsibility for access and rights of deaf people.

Come on, RID Search Committee. What were you thinking?! He never should have made it as far as the final two.