Frequently Asked Questions
Why did CSD make the film?
CSD believes in the power of love and diversity. For us, diversity isn’t a buzzword; it’s necessary for the survival of the human race. Genetic engineering and medical technology threaten to remove Deaf and other “undesirable” people from society. We do not consider Deaf people undesirable, but most valuable assets to the world and essential to human diversity.
What’s the film about?
Beyond Inclusion is a short fictional film. Ten years into the future, the word “disability” is replaced with “human diversity” and improvements in technology make it possible for meaningful connections between everyone.
The continuing questions are: Will certain groups of people be removed (through genetic engineering) or is our heart strong enough to persevere? Will our society recognize the important role that diversity plays in defining our human experience?
What can we achieve together through a global focus on universal design?
Why do you want to deconstruct disability?
We believe that “disability” is a label and a category that confuses, rather than clarifies. Confusion often breeds fear — and unnecessary fears result in higher unemployment and illiteracy. If we deconstruct it, we will discover what might otherwise be overlooked.
If a person is framed in a way that makes her or him feel less valued, why wouldn’t we want to change the framework so that everyone feels valued?
What does ‘deconstruct’ mean?
Deconstruct means to take apart ideas behind a word or a concept and examine them closely.
Why do you want to change Americans with Disabilities Act to Human Diversity Rights Act?
The Americans with Disabilities Act offers people with “disabilities” basic protections from discrimination — but it does not protect them from being removed through genetic engineering. We need laws that recognize the value of all human diversity.
Inclusion is important. What goes beyond inclusion?
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers, Esq.
In this view, instead of waiting to be asked, we ask others to dance…and we lead the dance. That is beyond inclusion.
Who or what is Foucault — and how can Foucault help?
Michel Foucault was a brilliant French philosopher (1926-1984).
On the coffee table in the film are two books, “The Birth of the Clinic” by Foucault, and another, “Enforcing Normalcy” by Lennard Davis. When Tavi asks if Foucault can “help”, she believes that we could get clues on how we will deconstruct disability using Foucault’s ideas.
In “The Birth of the Clinic”, Foucault discusses how the ‘medical gaze’ resulted from the rise of asylums in the early 1800s. People in power began deciding who “belonged” in an asylum by creating categories and labels, and then documenting behaviors and other “conditions” they saw in those people.
Through the emergence of medical practice as a profession, doctors, or “practitioners”, gained power through their “gaze” by deciding the fate of people labeled as “disabled”, setting the “culture” for centuries to come.
“Disability”, when looked at through an historical lens, is understood as a socially constructed concept, rather than a naturally occurring idea. With Foucault as a guide, we can take apart ‘disability’ and create a new idea that has roots in our natural collective truth.
If Tavi is romantic with Ash, why doesn’t she use sign language?
- Tavi and Ash recently became romantically involved and it takes time to learn a new language.
- It is easier to have a conversation when using your first language than one you are learning. In the film, the tablets on the table in front of Tavi and Ash allow them to converse in the language they feel most comfortable in. This allows them to get to know each other quickly, and not have to struggle to communicate.
Should we just skip fighting for inclusion and go beyond?
It is easy to say that you support inclusion, but the fight for inclusion is far from over. We have passed many equality laws, but we still need to do the work of transforming our culture. Laws can require people to do the right thing, but they cannot tell people what to think. We must do this in our day-to-day interactions, opening up one mind at a time until true inclusion is achieved for all.
Who do you know that is worth fighting for inclusion?
Why is the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening optional?
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening is currently a required protocol for all newborns at hospitals. We question why it is required and the potential impact this mandate has on families’ perception of their child.
Who is Lorde?
We named the school in the film, the Lorde Open School, after Audre Lorde, a writer, poet, and civil rights activist. We feel her impassioned quote resonates with this campaign: “ It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
How does this film relate to what CSD is doing?
CSD has always been committed to uplifting and empowering Deaf and hard of hearing people since its inception. We also believe that the Deaf community is very much a part of the mosaic that makes up American culture and seek to strengthen this. We do this even as there are programs sponsored both with private and public monies that seek to eradicate deafness. The heart of this conflict is the question: should deaf and hard of hearing people continue to exist? CSD is taking a stand by saying “yes” to that question. We are proud of our culture, our many languages, and our Deafhood. We do not want to be removed.
What is our call to action?
Demonstrate the economic and political power of our community.
- By aggregating comprehensive data
- By pushing for beyond inclusive innovations
- By deconstructing disability
- By coming up with a new word replacing ‘disability’
- By pushing for a legislative change