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Addressing Audism in Visual and Verbal Communication through the Political Asylum pathway, ethnographic cases of experience from Five Venezuelan Deaf asylum seekers in the United States of America 

[presentation is tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 21 at 2 pm]


Presenter:  J. Eugenio Ravelo Mendoza


Description of the Presentation:

Audism is “the corporate institution for dealing with deaf people, dealing with them by making statements about them, authorizing views of them, describing them, teaching about them, governing where they go to school [...] the hearing way of dominating, restructuring, and exercising authority over the deaf community” (Lane, 1992, p. 43 by Baker, Ravelo Mendoza and Steffen, 2017). Deaf people are often denied equal access to communication, education, and scholarship. They are left out of the conversations and their contributions go unrecognized. Drawing on examples from 5 cases by ethnographic cases (conversations) in Texas, Florida and DC areas, this presentation opens a conversation about the ways in which the diverse communities of deaf or hard of hearing people - those who use sign language or who use technology and prefer written communication - are excluded from scholarship, communication, and how they resist. Furthermore, the results will provide an explanation of the importance of expressive and receptive skills regarding comprehension through their process of interaction with the organizations or individuals who provided services for the Deaf Asylum seeker. Demonstrating how scholarship itself is a practice of the resistance of audism, using ethnographic data, Ravelo Mendoza will describe advantages and disadvantages in NGO or government agencies in several locations, how they either encourage or inhibit the work of Deaf asylum seekers.  Ravelo Mendoza presents a short, cohesive presentation, including; opening remarks, data, and research on each individual topic. This will be followed by an open discussion with the audience: responding to questions and approaches to the issues covered in the presentation.

Presenter’s Bio:

J. Eugenio Ravelo Mendoza is Deaf from the Venezuelan Deaf community.  In 20 years of research in linguistics and Education for the Deaf, especially in multiculturalism, bilingualism and the contact of languages, I have a focus on the sociolinguistics.  In my country, I founded a collective entity for the Deaf, a State Association for the Deaf in Venezuela, working as General Secretary of the Board from 2005 to 2015. I advised board members and commissioners about fundraising strategies and promotion for stimulating the deaf movement to promote awareness and quality of life. Since 2018, I have been an active client of the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project, an organization that serves for asylum seekers in the DC, Maryland and VA metropolitan area.  My goals are researching and designing projects for social impulse for the Deaf and Deaf-blind people through education, human, and civil rights over the world.