Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Regarding the Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees Nominations

As you know, I have been anticipating the opportunity to serve the hearing impaired communities as a member of the Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees.

I have been looking forward to working with the current board members to establish a new vision that enables the Gallaudet University to move forward. That optimistic view was based on a presumption that several societal controversies and leadership challenges facing the hearing impaired communities can be resolved. I had believed that Gallaudet University was positioned to launch a new and exciting chapter in its history.

However, there are very strong indications that these problems will persist for well into the future. I hoped that divisive elements in our community were prepared to focus on the future and forget the past. I hoped that this period of instability and uncertainty could be put behind us and that we all could start the process of rebuilding confidence in our community.

Given the recent events that aggravates the uncertainty and instability of the university, any efforts on my part to launch new initiatives and improvement strategies for Gallaudet University could be overshadowed by ingrained, protracted, high profile divisiveness in the hearing impaired communities. For these reasons, I am asking that the Gallaudet University to withdraw my nominations to be a member of the board of trustees.

This is a disappointment for me personally and professionally because I believe that Gallaudet University has a rich tradition of excellence that can form the basis for even greater achievement in the years ahead. This would have been the capstone of my life journey to make the lives of the hearing impaired communities better.

I remain very confident in my abilities as the Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center to make the lives of the hearing impaired communities better.

I wish Gallaudet University the best in their endeavors to make life better for the future hearing impaired generations.

Richard Roehm


  1. Thank you for withdrawing your nomination. Your repeated use of the phrase "hearing impaired" tells us a lot about you.

  2. As usual politics sucks. It does not matter who is chosen, elected, etc. etc. nothing will change.

    Blessed are the weak for they shall inherit the earth.

    Opps, it goes something like that ....


  3. I second Jay. My hearing has never been impaired, for I have
    been born profoundly deaf,
    genetically deaf.

  4. Vans,

    As far I know a retired teacher, one of my subscribers, and one of my co-workers sent in the nominations.


  5. I think many people feel you made the right decision, Richard.

  6. I agree with Jay and Jean-and thousands of other across the beutiful DEAF community worldwide- thank you for withdrawing your nomination.

    Raphael J. St. Johns

  7. You were retired ? Ah, you told me different stories about yourself. You never mentioned being a teacher!

    So now, what's new about you?

    Deaf is the proper word!

    Thank you.

  8. World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) came up with two acceptable terminology to identify a person with a hearing loss as:

    Deaf and Hard-of_Hearing

    The unacceptable terminologies are:

    Hearing impaired
    Ontologically impaired
    and etc.

    The word "impaired" sounds like a temporary condition and does not apply to deafness. Regardless of using prosthesis (cochlear implants) a person will remain deaf when turned off.

    I suggest you do some research and find out where, why and how the term emerged as "impaired." It is possible that was coined by the medical professionals in the past. Today, most will use Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing because it is easy to distinguish the difference as one can sign and the other does not. Do not forget the cultural aspects as well.

  9. Stephen,

    I recognize your undying loyalty to WFD and whatnot of the old deaf past.

    But I dont see any money following those terms any more they're following terms like 'hearing impaired' these days.


  10. It's ironic that you would name your blog, "The Orange Deafie Blog" but then use the words, "hearing impaired" in your article. Are you using these words to cause an uprising and get peoples' attention??

  11. Richard, thank you for withdrawing your nomination. Your comments on DeafDC.com and elsewhere about hating the "old deaf guard" and other inflammatory names and statements indicate that you are not willing to work with diverse viewpoints. This is unfortunate because it is okay to disagree, but not to look down on a group or stereotype. You made the right decision. Thank you.

  12. In addition to Deaf and Hard of hearing terminology:

    There are organizations using that terminology as:

    A. G. Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

    Association of Late-Deafened Adults

    Communication Service for the Deaf

    Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf

    Deafness Research Foundation

    Deaf Seniors of America

    Hearing Loss Association of America

    League for the Hard of Hearing

    National Association of the Deaf

    National Black Deaf Advocates

    National Catholic Office of the Deaf

    Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

    Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.

    USA Deaf Sports Federation

    Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc.

    Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency, San Leandro

    Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness

    Northern California Center on Deafness

    Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons

    Orange County Deaf Equal Access Foundation

    San Diego – Hearing Loss Network

  13. Look at your comments, you just helped him win the crab theory game!

  14. For stephen j. hardy


    only one thing I must correct you is your statement "Today, most will use Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing because it is easy to distinguish the difference as one can sign and the other does not."

    Some deaf people do not know sign language, some deaf people can't sign. Some Hard-of-Hearing people do know sign language, some HoH people can sign.

    To simplify, easy to distinguish the difference is deaf can't hear at all and hoh can somewhat hear with or without hearing devices.

    I think Richard is playing the game with us. He loves to see us deaf people get mad and aggravated, just don't pay attention to him.

  15. Hi Richard,

    I'm so glad you stopped by Ethan's World and left such a nice comment. I'm even more appreciative that you left your name and url. In the short time I've had to spend on your site, I've enjoyed the discourse and the videos.

    As a member of the hearing community, I can say with 100% certainty that the term "hearing impaired" is believed to be the politically correct term to use.

    I was recently talking to a woman in the library about my deaf son and she corrected me, telling me that the term deaf wasn't kind and that I should say hearing impaired. I was offended that she would correct me, the parent, when she knows so little about deafness. I don't know much more than she does, but I can tell you that I took that opportunity to teach her the difference between the terms. I also went so far as to discuss the difference between deaf and Deaf.

    Anyway, I'm very happy to have found you and your site.