AG Bell Belittles Nyle DiMarco


History repeats itself.

1966, 1995, 2008 and today, April 1, 2016.

It is not April’s Fools Joke.  It is real.

It all started on March 28, 2016 when Washington Post published an article about Nyle DiMarco. As you may already know that Nyle DiMarco is THE big thing right now. The Deaf Community are so THRILLED about him!


This article explains about Nyle DiMarco’s role with the LEAD-K as their spokesperson, and his establishment of the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, the main goal of which is to improve Deaf infants’ access to sign language education.

Few days later, on April 1, 2016 at 10:21 am, AG Bell posted their open letter.

Here is the screen capture of the website: AG Bell Response to Washington Post

AG Bell belittles Nyle DiMarco and the Deaf Community.

That was not the first time. It was done so many times. It happened in 1966.

Again in 1995,

and 2008.

In 1966, AG Bell’s Executive Director, George Fellendorf sent a telegram to NBC preventing “NBC Experiment in Television” to showcase National Theater of the Deaf for the first time on prime time!

Please visit the link I wrote on March 3, 2008.

In 1995, a “group” started a letter campaign against The Smithsonian Institution to have an exhibition about Deaf people and Deaf community. Jean Linquist Bergey wrote an article, “Life and Deaf” : Language and the Myth of “Balance” in Public History in a journal, Sign Language Studies, v8 n4 p330-347 Summer 2008.

An exhibition about Deaf life began its national tour, but not before finding itself in the eye of cultural storm on what it means to be deaf. This article by Jean Lindquist Bergey chronicles that storm, detailing an organized campaign to refocus the exhibition’s concept from community and toward something entirely different, a focus on pathology and remediation.


Bergey and Jack Gannon presented the intent of the project that focuses to be visual, not auditory; presented from a Deaf perspective; accessible for all people; representative of Deaf lives from all over the United States; and as much as possible, present the history of Deaf community.

One reviewer, who read this draft of the intent, strongly objected to a cultural-linguistic focus and insisted that equal time and space should be given to oral deaf people.

In October 1995, a campaign was initiated to persuade the Smithsonian to change the scope of the exhibition, and a specific member send a letter to organizations and oral schools warning about the direction the project was taking and encouraging a letter-writing campaign.

Over 270 letters of concern were sent, most to the Smithsonian and these letters offers a glimpse into the thinking of those who see American Sign Language as a threat to normalcy.

Examples of letters that was sent to Smithsonian include images of children with phrases such as:


“I am deaf – but I listen and speak. I don’t use sign. Change your exhibit to include me.”

“Please remember those of us who have chosen to be aural and oral – we are part of the history and the future”

“Please stop the myth that the deaf are mute and dependent on deaf culture to thrive.”

There are some letters that comes with threats to remove financial support, and some were sent to members of Congress and to the Secretary of the Smithsonian, requesting their intervention.

Former Executive Director of National Association of the Deaf, Nancy Bloch sent a letter to the Smithsonian Institution stating,

“I ask you not allow those who have traditionally tried to oppress our cultural community to dictate the nature and content of the exhibition story. I doubt that the National Museum of American History would allow any cultural community to be defined by its oppressors rather than the community members. I ask that the deaf cultural community be given the same consideration and respect.”

The campaign against the exhibit had an important immediate negative financial effect. Smithsonian colleagues explained that now Gallaudet would have to raise the balance of money for the exhibition’s expenses without assistance from the Smithsonian or a commitment to host the exhibition. There were some changes of the intent, with an emphasis of “experiences of the community”, and thus the title of the exhibition became “History through DEAF EYES”.

This exhibition was on display at Smithsonian Institution from May through September 2002, and traveled 12 cities. 415,000 people visited the exhibition.


This exhibition inspired a documentary film, Through Deaf Eyes, produced by WETA Television and it was broadcasted nationally in March 2007.

Bergey summarizes that this episode in history shows us how values are slow to change and how rhetoric is still used to suppress the Deaf cultural linguistic community and deny the wisdom of Deaf leadership.

That journal was published in summer 2008 that was after what AG Bell did earlier in that year.

In January 2008, the infamous Pepsi Letter from Karen Youdelman, President of AG Bell writes on the website after the commercial, “The Bob’s House” produced by Pepsi Co and EnAble for Super Bowl!

January 31, 2008
Ms. Julie Hamp Senior Vice President
PepsiCo Communications
700 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577

Dear. Ms. Hamp,

On behalf of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), we are writing in regards to the airing of your upcoming Super Bowl commercial highlighting deaf characters. Established in 1890, AG Bell is the only national organization dedicated to supporting children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing who use spoken language and hearing technology to communicate in mainstream society.

Although we appreciate Pepsi’s efforts to encourage new promotional ideas from your rank-and-file employees and your willingness to celebrate diversity, we would be remiss if we did not call your attention to the fact that your advertisement offers a limited view of the deaf community. Since you have chosen the Super Bowl as the forum to launch this campaign, and because of Pepsi’s size and stature, we feel a responsibility to offer our perspective on this somewhat misleading stereotype presented in your advertisement.

We trust you understand that deaf and hard of hearing individuals are a diverse group and therefore do not fit into a single, distinct culture. Your advertisement perpetuates a common myth that all people who are deaf can only communicate using sign language and are, therefore, isolated from the rest of society. In fact, today’s hearing technology, coupled with early screening identification and intervention, has led to incredible advances in listening and spoken language skill development. Of the more than 30 million Americans who live with hearing loss, the majority use spoken language as their primary mode of communication.

We would also like to remind you that with the amount of money Pepsi will spend on just one 60 second spot to air during the Super Bowl, you could help an untold number of families obtain hearing aids and other professional services that are costly and in many cases not covered by medical insurance. We would be very willing to work with Pepsi to develop some creative ideas to promote other facets of the deaf community and to highlight positive role models who have met the challenges of this condition and thrived using spoken language. In addition, we invite and encourage your participation at our 2008 convention to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 27-30; the largest gathering of families with deaf and hard of hearing children in the world.

Your continued involvement in this issue would go a long way to educate the public about this oftentimes invisible condition and promote appreciation for those individuals that go above and beyond to overcome the absence of something many of us take for granted – the miracle of sound.

Karen Youdelman, Ed.D.

As you can see how AG Bell continues to belittle our efforts to display American Sign Language to the public through media.

History repeats itself.

AG Bell – F**K OFF.








Amy Cohen Efron

UPDATE as of 7:06 PM  We the Deaf People (WTDP) organization wrote a public statement about this issue.


68 Responses to “AG Bell Belittles Nyle DiMarco”

  1. Amy Says:

    Could you provide source of specific data about improverished language models actually have worse outcomes?

  2. Miss Kat's Mom Says:

  3. Miss Kat's Mom Says:

    And this one is specifically about deaf kids:

    “Maternal communication skill proved to be a more
    significant indicator for both language development,
    early reading skills, and social-emotional development.
    Mothers who demonstrated better communication
    skill with their children had children with higher language
    and reading scores and less behavior problems,
    after controlling for hearing loss”

  4. patti Says:

    miss kat’s mom – it is very easy to find out your real name so continually signing off with your own daughter’s name because its to perilious for u to sign off with ur own is very QUESTIONABLE on your part

    re: someone calling and threatening – you NOT COOL at all. very wrong. ive gotten that bs too. some folks dont understand how to hand disagreements on the internet and lash out however they can. very wrong and im sorry that has happened to u.

    in terms of the protest at ur daughter’s school – it was not BECAUSE OF YOU. take it easy there. your hubris is really showing. it was because of ORALISM and AUDISM and the exclusionary methods employed there of

    re: your daughter trying to break her CI – you had a post up of how she had tied up her CI to her bed post to the point of almost destroying it. maybe she was just playing but there are oodles and oodles of true stories of Deaf children finding creative ways to destroy their FM system, body aids, hearing aids, and CI.

    re: the American Academy of Pediatrics – it is an ACTUAL position they are taking in favor of bilingualism for Deaf children and it is research based. Careful careful mom.

    deceit is not sweet

    in terms of opinions – u would have to go to ms. sugar – aka ag bell’s president if u want to see a bunch of posting that are opinion based parading as fact

    the AG Bell academy aint even a real academy

    re: u know some folks with CI who reject ASL. big deal i know TONS who embrace it and wish they had it as pups and these are the “successes”

    what about all the folks for which the CIs dont work – they still have lemons they still have complications they still have failures

    not cool mom – not cool at all. we should care for everybody – not just ur pals

    sometimes your callousness creeps me out – like when miss kat was throwing up and rebelling and screaming and crying against her 2nd ci

    i know i know u worked through it. just like i know that rachel of CI on-line fame’s mom used to have to sit on top of her to get her to put on her cis

    you totally know that AG Bell’s OVER reaction to the wee bitty write up about nyle’s and ASL was wrong and filled with a bigotry against ASL and Deaf culture and ur coming her to defend their actions does not bode well despite your interpreting for Deaf folks in church.

    have a good day M

    peace – patti

  5. Miss Kat's Mom Says:

    Now you are just making things up. My daughter never tried to destroy her CI. That isn’t even almost true. My blog is wide open, feel free to link over to this supposed post.

    And no, the people showing up at my child’s school didn’t have anything to do with me, but that doesn’t make it less scary. People have threatened me, my child (with kidnapping) and no, I don’t like it.

    You are accusing me of being dishonest when you are telling straight up lies about me and my child. She never “threw up”, she never “tried to destroy” her CI. She disliked the second CI for about a week, until she got used to the sound.

  6. patti Says:

    mom i have no desire to go to your place and look around for that old post about her tying up her CI to her bed post nor about her vomiting or nearly vomiting and having to miss school when you started the 2nd ci

    i aint making things up. it was hard to stomach the first time reading that stuff – i aint going back their to find it again.

    me points remain – many folks grow up to keep using ci and speech but still very much want to be part of the Deaf ASL world and many folks grow up to toss their CIs and to stop all that speaking and listening stuff to be ASL English bilingual people

    its true – nothing u can do about that and Ms. Sugar don’t even mention that now did she? odd eh?

    and M you really found a small group of folks holding up peaceful signs and signing ILY in front of your daughter’s school terrifying?

    gosh and wow

    and now we return us to the point of this thread – not u mom and your parenting but rather the organization and its president and their bigotry which you are unfortunately defending – tis a pity MKM.

    check out the letter to ms. sugar by the gallaudet student that is FILLED with cited studies – see amy’s latest post from the buff and blue

    knowledge IS power

    peace – Miss Z and N’s mom – AKA patti durr

  7. John Egbert Says:

    As an oral Deaf person till the age of 19 learned ASL at Gallaudet, it was my desire to tell the world by writing this book, MindField, a thriller book about how the
    USA government with help of the AGBell lobbyist leads to rectify deafness without American Sign Language after 3 million people became deaf by the terrorist virus. Many hearing ASL students love this book!. Available at Gallaudet bookstore and Amazon.

  8. James Says:

    Not new to Deaf World since AGB’s and EMG’s theories for almost 100 years!
    (AGB – Alexander Graham Bell; EMG – Edward Miner Gallaudet)

  9. Sopranos92 Says:

    Who cares?? TMZ says who cares it! They’re says Nyle DiMarco who can’t Latin Dancing experiences! Because of he is disobeyed following theirs rules. Now, He’s failed it. They’re says he shall be eliminates any of this ASAP.

  10. Acorn Says:

    sopranos92 ..omg! Trash talk AGBell not Nyle! You need to read carefully before you say something on this blog. Let me educate you something loser.. Nyle is smart young man who knows how to find a way to the top and makes $$$ & use that $$ to contribute ASL & Deaf children, in comparison with you, omg ..a self-centered loser and a narrow minded who cannot accept the fact that Nyle is on the way to stardom which he’s very much will be and deserve it as well.. what’s more.. Nyle is a biggest role model toward Deaf children so therefore they will be very much success just like Nyle and again in comparison with you.. a sore loser with a very narrow minded who cannot accept the fact that our Deaf children is on the way to stardom too. I loathe you sopranos92 omg!

  11. Tcsann Says:

    OMG!!! To AGBell I was born profoundly deaf and grew up at deaf school … I want to share this about “ME”…. I wore body aid till high school and I wore behind ear all my life till I was 40 years old. I decided to get the CI and I’m happy with it… I can hear environmental sounds and enjoy listen to music! And just let u know that I am still identity as deaf with or without CI.. ASL is my world, make my life easier to access communication!! I DISAGREE for the newborn to have CI surgery because deaf children can sign language at early age before babies speak the first word with their visual!!!! Seriously U decided for the parents deaf children to get the CI and it’s not fair for the kids to make their own choice when they grow up to understand. What wrong with hearing aid first and not the surgery!! I have 18 months old hearing granddaughter and she learned the first language is sign language and its SOOOOO AWESOME for me to know what she wants or need!!! U AGBell people need to back off with your lack of acknowledgeable about ASL!! The ASL is beautiful!!!!!! I love all deaf people a whole world.. God create the deaf people and use ASL for purpose! Peace out!

  12. We The Deaf People Responds To AGB’s WP Letter | AG Bell Lies Says:

    […] Copied from […]

  13. Darrell Says:

    Let me to tell you.. There is ongoing persecuted actions by AGB since Milan Conference happened in 1888. Feeble minded Politicians who got all wrong informations about Deaf Education. AGB won its several battles on pedagogy of Oralism, and eliminating deaf teachers who could not meet qualifications. The one criteria of qualification requires to perform oral during classrooms. Again, there was forbidden to use sign language in the classrooms.

    My native language is ASL. I m from fourth generation of deaf families. I call this one as cultural genocide. AGB’s accountability on failing education already happened nowadays. It indicates 40 years span of AG Bell’s pedagogy. They gave wrong messages to politicians. The AGB’s mission mainly focuses on Education.

    Now, they are trying to find alternate ways to say how to improve the language development by using LSL approach. This message comes into falsification. AGB dares to make lobbying it. AGB recruits attorneys and medical professionals to support this doctrine. Let me to tell you all again… It does not work at all if they solely support LSL, not using sign language for early infants & toddlers. STOP to give any false hopes as well AGB already attempted.

  14. Deaf World as Eye See It » Blog Archive » Sweet Comeback : Convo’s 48-Hour Challenge Says:

    […] This project was transpired from infamous Meredith Sugar’s open letter to Washington Post on April 1st. This open letter was posted on Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s website. As of today, this letter was never published in Washington Post. For more information, please read my blog entry about this infamous letter. […]

  15. Deaf World as Eye See It » Blog Archive » Nyle DiMarco: A Brilliant Strategist Says:

    […] The Sugar’s “open letter” caused an uproar nationalwide and caused a great dismay from politically savvy Deaf Community. This is not the first time that AG Bell tried to intervene or belittles American Sign Language, and you can read more here. […]

  16. Storme Says:
    Lots of great research, and check out the bottom, other wonderful studies. The benefit of having language accessible, fully developed, stimulated, can mean deaf children can be anything, even a polyglot!
    Danke sehr
    And so on…

  17. Law Says:

    Miss Kats Mom,
    I honestly agree with you. I did not, nor do I see any “belittling” or “discriminating” against Nyle, or his achievements. I personally think you made the right choice getting your daughter a CI. You were and still are trying to give her the best life possible, whether she chooses the deaf culture or hearing culture. (I won’t get started on how ingrained in idiocy the notion that the two have to be labeled as “cultural”)
    I applaud your decisions, who reminds me of my own mothers decisions. I am a deaf man who was implanted at 17 (OF MY OWN VOLITION) I do wish this technology would have been available when I was younger. My being born deaf has shaped me, of that, there is no doubt, but I did have to endure more difficult challenges than those who could hear, and still do to this day. I know both cued speech and ASL. Where it is my opinion that CS is much more beneficial to deaf children, getting a CI grants them even more opportunities and less challenges than any of the above. To me, it is no different than giving a blind person glasses so they can see. I don’t see a blind culture out there, nor do I know of any blind person who calls getting glasses “a hate crime”. I have walked in the shoes of a deaf person and a hearing person, the “hearing” shoes are more comfortable by a large margin.
    You guys are entirely too sensitive and defensive when it comes to improving quality of life through technological advances that “invade” your bubble. I’m sure many of you will comment that I am “brainwashed”, to that, I would say you are just as brainwashed by the deaf bubble and to isolate yourself from the majority of the world is moronic to say the least.
    You have your own opinions, just as I do but it is not your, or anybody’s call to decide whether or not a deaf child should be implanted or not. It is their parents….period. The child can decide whether or not to keep the CI later on (remember? The volume control thing???)

  18. Ian Says:

    Hey AG Bell ….

    can you read between my fingers? of course you CAN ! so F**K YOU!

Leave a Reply