WIPE THE DEAF COMMUNITY OUT?! What should we do?:
Are we PEOPLE or just an EAR or a GENE? This vlog discusses the United Kingdon’s new Parliament bill where the Deaf embryo is removed. There is an international outcry over this, and international action, as well. DE asks that the Deaf community, rather than despair at the prospect of the Deaf gene being eliminated, that we critically examine the issues and be proactive.


  • DT 17 years ago

    Joey, a very nice and straightforward presentation by your guest vlogger, DE. May I have your permission to paste this in other places I frequent to help get the word out?

  • Deb Ann 17 years ago

    Just want to let you know that it doesn’t work on my computer. Youtube only works for me. I truly enjoy your vlogs and am hoping to try it again tomorrow to see if it’d work.

  • LaRonda 17 years ago

    Nicely said. Empowering to watch.

    ~ LaRonda

  • Joey Baer 17 years ago

    #1 – DT – of course, you have my permission. Thanks for helping. Upward we go!

    #2 – Deb Ann,

    Let me upload the video to YouTube tomorrow morning and it will be posted on deafvideo.tv. I will come back to confirm that it is being posted there.

  • Platonic's Eye 17 years ago

    It’s very powerful statement and very rhetoric! I like the way you express very well and very straightforward.

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    It is quite disturbing that history repeats what Hitler did more than 60 years ago! It was Great Britain who introduced the USA’s eugenics to Hitler to wipe out deaf Germans because Hitler blamed deaf Germans for the bad economy. Eliminating a deaf gene or aborting a deaf foetus will NOT change the economy.

    It is a pity that the governments in highly developed countries fail to see that deaf people pay tax faithfully.

    We must do something. Let us campaign.

    Is your vlog accompanied by voice. The reason for asking is I would like to send your video to my hearing friends who are an ally of deaf people.

  • Tony Nicholas 17 years ago

    Wow… I am impressed…. thanx for the solidarity! I’m an Aussie – and Auslan is my sign, and I also know BSL, but the more I watch ASL, the more I pick up…

  • SusanA 17 years ago

    I think the most powerful message comes from our Creator Himself:

    Exodus 4:11

    But the LORD answered, “Who makes people able to speak or makes them deaf or unable to speak? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Don’t you know that I am the one who does these things?

    Also, in Psalms 139:13-17

    You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body,
    and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.
    Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below,
    but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.
    Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine.

    (“Contemporary English Version” Bible)

  • LuLu Long 17 years ago

    Hello everybody,

    Deaf is always Deaf. Deaf is a human.
    Hearing is always hearing. Hearing is a human. We share our world together in many good reasons as how the clock runs by it’s own runs as for us to combine our world, Deaf cannot just get rid of hearing as same for hearing cannot just get rid of Deaf. Then why cannot we all understand in each other in our life in this whole world.


  • MM 17 years ago

    The ethics of gene removal was discussed long ago, when advances started identifying all sorts of ‘disabilities’ in the womb, even before. That is why people get innoculations so that e.g. Rubella can be avoided (A great source of deaf people !). Deaf said nothing about that., deaf parents take the jabs.

    Downs and other disabilities are already on the books if a parent feels they don’t want such a child too. Deaf are not particularly targeted in this Bill, although it would affect them. This was always the fear people had, not just that a deaf gene could be ‘edited out’ of a foetus or parent, but that identification would see parents being offered a choice of abortion when it is found.

    Insurance companies also have an interest here. So ‘gene therapy’ afterwards to ‘restore hearing’ would not happen by the simple fact the foetus was not allowed to continue.

    While people attack law makers, surely, the issue is NOT with them, but with parents ? It seems despite many efforts made by the deaf community, it is consistently failing to convince parents ,deaf people can enjoy as good a life as a hearing one. They do not see society’s attitudes still, as at fault. Being hearing is better for a child than being deaf, and that supposition is what drives things. How can deaf people counter that ? at the end of any day, the parent , primarily the mother, has the final word, not a Dr, not a lawyer, and not, the deaf community, since they bring up the child and nurture it.

  • sue 17 years ago

    Really straightforward & clear! Enjoyed watching you. Intersting though,…if it’s to be considered “nonmedical”…how is it any different from people who are prochoice & against abortion? I’m very curious to hear more about the “nonmedical” debate. Please keep us updated!

  • Longtime NAD Member 17 years ago


    Why advertise http://www.deafread.com in your mass email distribution? Following is your email popped in my Inbox this morning:

    Are we PEOPLE or just an EAR or a GENE? This vlog discusses the United
    Kingdon’s new Parliament bill where the Deaf embryo is removed.
    There is an international outcry over this, and international action, as
    well. DE asks that the Deaf community, rather than despair at the
    prospect of the Deaf gene being eliminated, that we critically examine the
    issues and be proactive.


    I, for one, refuse to go to http://www.deafread.com because I don’t appreciate their policies and web design change. I stop visiting http://www.deafread.com.

    Displaying the number of hits on your vlog by DeafRead does not mean anything. We deaf people *ALREADY* know about your http://www.joeybaer.com and your vlogs. Who cares about the number of hits.

    After receiving your email, I typed “www.joeybaer.com” instead of clicking on the link to http://www.deafread.com to point to your vlog.

    I thought to let you know.

    Keep feeding us with any updates pertaining to the deaf community’s needs and issues. Thank you, Joey!

  • patti durr 17 years ago

    biggest thanks for doing this

    great delivery and positive message

    united we stand


  • DE 17 years ago

    MM- “parent’s choice?” Always? Even in the case of, say, abuse? Do abusive parents have more power than Child Protection Services? If it’s truly “always” parents’ choice, then they wouldn’t have to send their kids to school every day, feed them, or dress them.

    The argument that it’s ultimately “parents’ choice” is often used to make the Deaf community feel powerless to make changes.

    It takes a village to raise a child.

    Suppose a hearing parent NEVER talks with his child, NEVER hugs her/him, NEVER explains anything to her/him. What do you think the neighbors would say– “oh it’s his choice”? No- they’d be racing to the phone to sic the cops on him. That’s a village, not a “parent’s choice”.

    I want to clarify– the UK Deaf community isn’t “attacking the lawmakers”. I have been in discussion with Alison, Paddy, Tomato, etc. and FYI, they are working hard to raise awareness with Members of Parliament. They have and will continue to sit down with MPs. No “attacks” anywhere.

    However, MM- you raise a good point- how do we counter society’s view of the Deaf. That’s a worthy question. Honestly, I think the Deaf community in the past 2 years have been very proactive in that area- with the Deafhood workshop, Gallaudet protest, DBC rallies, International Signed Languages Day marches, etc. etc.– the Deaf community is gelling together and raising awareness and finding our “center”.

    I gotta thank Paddy Ladd for RE-awakening that soul of activism and “centeredness” in me.


  • DE 17 years ago

    Alison- my hat’s off to you for doing so much with this issue.

    Tony- I truly apologize for not signing in Auslan, or BSL, etc.! Wish I knew more Signed Languages!!! But thank you, nevertheless.

    LuLu- you are right. We are human beings. We need to keep framing that for all future endeavors. We should start with a narrative of what it means to be a Deaf human.

    Ebody else- thanks!!! Will be sure to keep you posted.


  • Nick Vera 17 years ago

    Your message enlightened my body like electric! In addition, I learned something new about non-medical list. The more I learn from Joey Baer’s vlog that I enjoyed increasing my knowledge include the readers. Thank you for making the best effort to share your perspective on eugenics and genetic removal. Your light always be there on yellow brick path. Cheers!


  • Sandra Goldstein 17 years ago

    DE, well-done job

    DE it is important to wear proper attire for VLOG…wear solid color for signing. We have proper attire for interpreters wearing dark solid color to see signs clear.

    DE wore striped top to have our eyes sore. Or shall we call eye pollution.

    DE , you signed very clear. I follow you very well but you did not wear one solid color top.


  • Cousin Vinny 17 years ago

    Thanks, DE, for producing the video. I did not know about the ‘Non Medical List’ and am now better informed on this issue.

    While I wouldn’t wish Deafness to be put upon another baby, this step in identifying and stopping the Deaf gene can only lead to a slippery slope heading to directions unseen and unforeseeable.

    Let’s hope the UK Deaf people will get this law proposal tossed out.

  • debby 17 years ago

    Hearing people in the world still have not overcome their ashamed feeling about deafness for many years. I agree that the Deaf community need to educate them for them to look at us as human being not medications.

  • MM 17 years ago

    Well DE, deafhood may inspire the deaf community, I can’t see how it inspires the hearing one to allow deaf culture to continue. It still sees deafness a a serious ‘disability’ to be addressed. I think deafhood is waking the deaf up to themselves, but they need to address mainstream too, and not just go at them negatively every chance, deaf need to engender support, they won’t do that via negativity.

    In an ideal world the local community would accept a child regardless, I was stating the legal position, and the mother usually makes the ultimate choice on abortion, often in defiance to a father too. It is I gather a contentious subject anyway in America (Abortion), but the UK abortion rates are rising and rising, among the highest in Europe, and the reason can simply be the woman doesn’t want a child, they’ve broken with the father, or isn’t ‘ready’.

    Up until now women needed two Dr’s to agree she was making a reasonable decision, recent legislation in the UK will take that to just 1 Dr, so it will be a lot easier for any women to just have abortion on demand. You would have to ask a female on that. So far the law (And me personally), recognizes ultimately it’s the women’s decision, good or bad a parent they may or may not be.

    Society is non-cohesive these days, and few people care about anyone else “Not my problemo” etc… It was discussed a few years ago that genetics identifying various ‘disabilities’ in pregnant mothers, could even conceivably be used by insurance companies and state service providers against the parent. aka “You CHOSE to have a disabled child when there was an alternative, so you have to pay for any support that child or yourself may need, you brought it on yourself !”. Whether they can INSIST on abortion at this point is doubtful ! but, if genetic identification was like DNA (i.e. near 100% accurate), then these people could lean on parents with more certainty couldn’t they ?

    People will always refuse to comply, but how would they manage ? The UK provides a lot of free medical care (The NHS), America I gather would let you die if your bank account is empty, or at the least throw you out of hospital if you can’t pay for treatment…. that IS your problemo..

  • Mike Gough 17 years ago

    Hearing people are not ashamed of Deaf…they just are getting lazy! Don’t you know that they are ordered by our Creator to take care of Deaf and Blind people by not cursing or put the stumblingblocks in the front of these people?
    Doubt me? Look at Leviticus 19: 14…
    Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord.

  • TRH 17 years ago

    We , deaf community, should speak out on the T.V. commercial against wipe the deaf community out!!
    It would spread worldwide and wake up the hearing people, especially VIP !

  • tkjus 17 years ago

    While I understand why the Deaf community is upset with what is happening in the U.K., there are a few things I feel the need to point out before you folks decide on what type of a protest you want to lead in response to the bill currently under the Parliament’s review.

    1) Do deaf people easily get jobs in the hearing world?

    Be honest. Think: How about SSI? How many deaf people are currently receiving checks on a monthly basis?

    2) Do deaf people lead a normal life in different parts of the world? Ie: Africa? China?

    Remember – this is NOT an issue of whether or not Deaf Culture, community, or *enter whatever word you want here* exists. This is a WORLD issue we are talking about here. Your voice also represents deaf people in the underdeveloped and developing countries. Can you keep a straight face and tell them that women ought to keep deaf genes, so the future generations of deaf people can continue to suffer under the dictator of an X country they live in without access to education, etc? I am confident many of you agree that being able to hear would help at least a bit for them in terms of communication and access to education and jobs. It does not matter if it involves them operating a rickshaw or whatever.

    3) How much has the government spent on improving the quality of life for deaf people?

    Think: Sign language interpreters, SSI, Vocation Rehabilition, VRS, schools for the Deaf, mainstreaming programs, services, et cetera.

    It all adds up.

    4) Do you agree that deaf people in other parts of U.S. (Missouri, Montana, etc.) are receiving quality education?

    Joey and DE – you both live in California, right? I understand Fremont and a very few schools for the deaf across the nation provide top notch education for deaf children. But what about those living in other areas in which schools aren’t of “top notch” quality? What about them? They are being left behind at this time. I know people are saying “someone” is doing something about it. But come on…

    5) How about hearing parents of deaf children? Imagine yourself in their shoes, you’re totally clueless about the deaf community and have no way of finding out about services that are available for their children in the area they live in. I know many parents who faced similiar situations like this. Is it really necessary for them to keep the deaf genes and worry everyday in hopes their children will be fine? For many children are growing up in these types of situations, it is kind of too late for them.

    So these five questions – think about them and put yourselves in ignorant hearing people’s shoes – what would you do? Of course, you would be in favor of the bill.

  • Don Grushkin 17 years ago

    Definitely deaf(ness) is a non-medical trait! It is not life-threatening or requring medical care as compared to medical traits like Tay-Sachs, Sickle Cell, Schizophrenia, etc., etc. There is no question that these traits are undesirable and need to be cured or prevented.

    So, why don’t we in the U.S. get PROACTIVE and work with the lawmakers to get the Deaf gene(s) declared “non-medical”, and pass legislation which will give us the rights to be viewed non-medically (and prevent a similar legislation coming up in Congress)? Perhaps included into the Civil Rights laws (ADA does this a little bit, but doesn’t quite go far enough on that line).

    I see such a legislation having ramifications further down the line. If the Deaf gene(s) are declared “non-medical”, then it will logically follow that the “problems” of the Deaf are themselves “non-medical” (meaning no need to fix/cure, only accommodate). This would then ultimately lead to recognition of Deaf as a trait/ethnicity of humans, and therefore sign languages are one expression of that ethnicity’s culture.

  • Jean Boutcher 17 years ago

    I concur with Don! If being deaf is life-threatening, deaf people would be confined to the bed. We can play sports. We, deaf people, are faithful taxpayers, filing a tax return every year. Deaf people do have jobs. The gamut of jobs are from working as clerks in government agencies, teaching, printing, ministering, painting, carpentering, bricklaying, tailoring, biologists to ad infinitum. We are bilingual: we have reading and writing skills. We even can sign in ASL. We can communciate with hearing people via paper and pen. Hearing babies’s IQ becomes stellar through deaf people’s sign language.

    So make it a law that deaf people be known as members of an ethnicity group which Sociologist Dr. Richard Eckert terms
    “Deafnicity” instead of deaf people with a medical trait.

  • Christina 17 years ago

    Thanks for the announcment and it is great but if I spread that words out by via email this vlogs to hearing friends and family but no closed captioned or hearing interpreter for them to hear and understand what they talk about.


  • michele 17 years ago

    This is interesting vlog especially when you brought up about non-medical category.

    Also we must keep in mind that 50 percent causes of deafness have not been discovered or named yet. The only deaf gene we have now is the Connetixin 26/30 (correct me if I am wrong). Maybe in hindsight, if the deafness genes aren’t discovered or named yet so that our deaf world is literally protected from the eugenics.

    Perhaps, Gallaudet University is on wrong footing to continue with the genetic research and may unintentionally contribute to this issue of people wanting to “wipe out” the deafness gene?

  • Joey Baer 17 years ago

    Deb Ann –

    I finally found a time to upload this vlog into YouTube and you can find it at:


    From now on, I will upload to YouTube as soon as I post new vlogs here. Thanks for letting me know!


  • Liz Brading 17 years ago

    Reply to tkjus’ comments:

    Why should we allow the bill to pass just because we have ignorant hearing people? It is not about them. It is about US and preserving our basic human right to exist on this earth!!! You are saying “oh, because they don’t understand, let’s allow them to wipe us out.” Where is the fighting spirit and pride in our culture?

    If the government does the right thing by providing quality education and equal access for Deaf people, then more Deaf people would have jobs and the government would not need to spend so much money on VR, SSI etc. It is because of the government’s failings, they have to pay up for their mistakes. Your questions are placing undue burden on Deaf people and it is totally unfair. You should look to the government and blame the system for the way things are. Again, Deaf people have the right to enjoy the same privileges in every situation, and of course the government should do all what it should do to ensure this happens. And this includes setting up “top-notch” Deaf schools all over the country.

  • John Critser 17 years ago

    Listen to this:

    “Oh forgive us for being born and raised using ASL/BSL. Forgive us for being Deaf and for showing the world how alive Deaf Culture is. Oops, God made a mistake. Or does he make mistakes? Like creating volcanoes instead of mountains? Or mountains that cannot be moved? We rock the world and stick a needle invasively into the hearie cocoon.. We speak in an alien language, with hands skyrocketing using all kinds of zones, small or big. Oh yes, there is a problem with our gene as we sign beautifully songs. We are a bust to the economy and we can read the dirty politicians’ lips. Maybe our fannies move in a funny way as we change positions as we sign, maybe that is offensive to others. We are definitely a mistake, because we are too beautiful to watch. Those cochlear implants secretly record conversations and the hearing aids are gadgets for the CIA, with one click we can summon a getaway car, it’s because of our gene, I guess. We talk about everybody behind their backs in sign language, that is why we should be eliminated altogether as a gene defect. We can chat quiet and be inoblivious to hearing teachers using sign language and grade well on the final exams, so embryo removal is the only way to stop that. We become dentists and doctors and require sign language interpreters which become privy to medical records that are supposed to be confidential, so the answer is to remove the Deaf embryo. Right?? Forgive us for being so nosy. Forgive us for walking and signing like Orangutans. Did we interrupt the dinner table with our flying hands? Gee, I am sorry! I’ll chain my hands to the table legs and request in my will to remove the Deaf embryos from future generations. Now the dinner table won’t rock anymore, and the dinner plates won’t slide anymore. Oh, God created us Deaf? And humanity wants to undo what God has created? Like building a tower of babylon that reaches heaven? Only for God to cause the builders and slaves that were doing the labor in building the unfinished tower to suddenly speak in different languages and become scattered? And one of the languages was the sign languages of this world? So you won’t remove the embryos of the each race that picked up on the new language on that tower of babylon? Zero on us, the BSL/ASL users supposedly jinxed with the Deaf embryo? Just us? Why not the whole world? Deaf embryo removal a steppingstone to eliminating mankind altogether, why not? The problem is with us? What about the people AROUND us? Us or them? I guess they chose us instead of self-examining their own shortsighted flaw of thinking that it’s not them. It’s denial. Forgive us, if we have to ask, but we are not sorry for who we are.”

    -unapologetic Deaf embryo (fully grown, intelligent, resembling all of the non-medical traits)

  • Maryam 17 years ago

    Great blog, DE!!! But, there is one tiny problem…your shirt really got me dizzy while trying to watch your signing…smile. No fear…try to remmy to wear dark solid shirt, not striped or loud ones. Smile…Keep up the good work on this topic. Wow…they aren’t thinking right…Deaf British signers and others who are involved in DEAF life, should stay on and keep their culture and keep the community stay strong as ever!

  • Gregory Glenn 17 years ago

    5.,7.,9.,10. messages are very power to make me look up and found some video tape from history proved that deaf people in U.S. was work in army and help war in WW2 which we done help their country won the war and into safe as today! Joey please contact me about this coped tape that they might need it to impact them that deaf people are work together with hearing people at no question!

  • Deb Ann 17 years ago

    Thank you for uploading Youtube.

    High waves! Yes, DEAF always stay. It’s toooo beautiful to go!

  • Tara (MO) 17 years ago


    #33…you said it beautifully!

  • deafmutearthur 17 years ago

    If cure or prevention of deafness are in process, I am for that conception…Majority of deafness are caused dieases or dna defectives, new medicine or cures will be appreicated… I believe some of you are scared of losing your jobs or attentions in deafness area… To me, I appreciate reduction of cost or expense in government …

  • Rose 17 years ago

    Why some of us are born deaf, blind, crippled, or deformed?? The higher beings have their reasons. Perhaps we all are here to learn some lessons. If people decide to abort, whatever their reasons, then they are depriving their babies, whatever “shape” they are in, of their earthly lessons and life “blueprints”.

  • David Martin 17 years ago


  • Prefer to stay anonymous... 17 years ago

    Sort of interesting that Joey Baer and DE have not responded to the comments made by Tkjus. I’m looking forward to what you both have to say. Thanks.

  • DE 17 years ago

    David Martin,

    Thank you for your (video) comment– while I agree that my current vlog addresses a global issue, not every Deaf signs ASL. Perhaps we should do it in International Sign?

    All the others- I’ll respond- just got home from a Deafhood presentation in Seattle!


  • John Critser 17 years ago

    I want to go off the point and jump into a discussion about JKF. I want to quote what Carl Schroeder from Kalalau’s korner said:

    ” Imagine a time when American Sign Language (ASL) is declared unnecessary for children with cochlear implants by a university administrator, Jane Keheller Fernandes, regardless her whereabouts. JKF has been promoting cochlear implants and dismissing ASL in public, especially in academic settings.”

    That is clearly JKF’s agenda. And how in the world did she ever get appointed to become President of Gallaudet? That was like inviting the devil back into heaven! And what’s more, since the devil our arch-enemy fell as lightning from heaven, satan has been scheming to deceive people and turn people against God. Is JKF scheming also?

    Now we have seen the fall of JKF, we have been beware of the devil since his fall, we need to be also beware of JKF. I know I sound sarcastic comparing her to the devil, but didn’t JKF fall? And what a fall it was!

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing is lurking about. We have to keep watch over her advocating of CI implants in dismissing ASL. We need Deaf leaders to blow the horn wherever she is and whatever new comes up.

    It might be getting old, but in regard’s to cherishing our Deaf culture and our language, ASL, it never becomes old. The devil is ancient, he was present when God created this world. It’s never too old for us to ignore. Neither is JKF.

  • CynthiaK 17 years ago

    Great vlog by DE — thanks for having him! That was interesting and very powerful. The question is…what next?

  • TG 17 years ago

    I respond number 43. Yeah, International Sign! You have to check statistic of visitor this website. I suggest to put poll “Who’s Online Polls” from countries and know ASL or not it may helps to you! If large numbers the people from world wide often to follow your vlogs and should to set up it. If fews is perhaps unnecessary to do. Thank you!

  • mig 17 years ago

    Pues a mi me parece muy bien que los quiten de enmedio.
    Y si es posible también a los que tengan problemas del tipo que sea que resulten incompatibles con su propia independencia cuando lleguen a adultos e incluso todos aquellos que presnten problemas de salud y sensoriales serios.

    English Translation:

    Therefore to my it seems me very well that remove them of enmedio.  And if is possible also to the ones that they have problems of the type that be that they turn out to be incompatible with their own independence when arrive adults and even all those that presnten problems of health and sensory serious. 
  • Larson 17 years ago

    Beethoven was deaf…

  • JeffV 17 years ago

    I am in favour of the Bill. It’s 21st century now and it’s time to get rid of defects.

  • DOLORES DIGIOVANNI 16 years ago


  • Patrick Graybill 16 years ago

    Joey, thank you for bringing David on. He once called me Mr. VHS. Watching him explain the circumstances in United Kingdom, I was aware of how modern technology can empower us Deaf community members to educate and empower each other to protect and celebrate our identity and values, Facing the abusive use of modern technology to fix us, let us continue to work together to continue to teach the rest of the world who we are, what gifts we are contributing to our wide world, and how we work together to heal the world. Let us be spirit-linkers! Again, many thanks!!!


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