Tuesday, February 5, 2008

DBC Letter to Pepsico



You may click on the letter icon above to get a larger view
or read the text version below of the DBC's letter to Pepsico:

February 5, 2008

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

Dear Ms. Hamp,

On behalf of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition (DBC), we would like to thank Pepsi for airing the “Bob’s House” commercial and for generously replying to the countless number of correspondence items the global Deaf Community members and allies sent in support of the commercial.

Pepsi’s commercial did not just raise awareness about Deaf people’s natural way of life; it can actually enhance lives. Because of the unprecedented and highly-viewed commercial, the chances that future parents of Deaf babies will pick up American Sign Language (ASL) increased exponentially. Additionally, the many benefits ASL gives to hearing babies has been well-documented, so Pepsi did a great service for all babies, Deaf and hearing. Thank you.

Established as a grass-roots organization and movement in 2007, the DBC is here to ensure that all Deaf babies and children succeed and thrive through early and strong acquisition of ASL and English. The DBC is also challenging the Alexander Graham Bell Association’s (AG Bell’s) long-standing campaign and activism against ASL, diversity, quality education, and economic power among the Deaf community. Since AG Bell’s inception, they have steadfastly promoted the mentality that all Deaf people should shun ASL and natural and successful ways of living in society.

Through AG Bell’s Children’s Legal Advocacy program, cases have been brought against school districts that provide ASL-based instruction to Deaf students. With AG Bell and Auditory-Verbal International’s Auditory-Verbal Therapy program, families are explicitly encouraged not to use ASL with their Deaf children. Finally, AG Bell’s affiliation with corporations such as Cochlear Americas, has resulted in the accumulation of vast wealth that does not return one cent to the Deaf community. AG Bell criticizing Pepsi about money not being well-spent reflects a blatant double standard.

With the overwhelming majority of AG Bell and Cochlear America’s Board members and top executives being non-minority and non-Deaf, the DBC finds AG Bell’s characterization of Pepsi supposedly having a “limited” view of Deaf diversity extremely puzzling. AG Bell appears to be confusing the issue of true diversity with the issue of the diversification of their affiliates’ stock portfolios. Yet that did not stop AG Bell from purporting to speak for the Deaf community. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), with a diverse Board, is the Deaf community’s true representative.

It appears that any positive and widespread celebration of ASL and Deaf people’s way of living represents a potential loss of profits, power, and political clout for the auditory-industrial complex. The DBC is pleased that Pepsi, unlike AG Bell, understands the miracle of sound reasoning.

The DBC warmly invites Pepsi to join our June 27-30, 2008 conference in Milwaukee. Your involvement will go a long way in ensuring that Deaf babies learn ASL and English and experience guaranteed success in their lives--not to mention the fact that it will add more Pepsi customers to the already large number of Deaf Pepsi drinkers. We will be happy to follow up with further details pertaining to our upcoming conference.

Again, thank you for doing a great service for all babies, Deaf and hearing alike, and also for the global Deaf community.

The core team of the Deaf Bilingual Coalition:

Barbara DiGiovanni
David Eberwein
John Egbert
Tami Hossler
Ella Mae Lentz
David Reynolds

Link to ASL version by Ella Mae Lentz, click here.

To download the letter, click here.

Link to AG Bell's letter to Pepsico, click here.

15 comments:

Misha said...

Just perfect!

What a beautiful letter, too!

I love it.

Great work, DBC!!!!

Misha :D

RLM said...

Bravo! Well-said!

Robert L. Mason (RLM)
RLMDEAF blog

DEAF NAVY USA said...

THAT IS AWSOME AND I MISS IT BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT NEAR SUPERBOWL AND I KEEP EYES ON COMMERICAL THERE IS MORE NEXT ONE BUT I DONT SEE IT BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD BEST FOR MORE COMMERICAL ON TV WITH MIX HEARING AND DEAF COMMERICAL WILL BE BESTEST FOR EVERYONE WILL BE IN ONE WORLD. SO I WAIT MY OWN EYES LATER ON REAL LIFE TV. BUT DURING SUPERBOWL I SAID DANG MISS IT.

Hana said...

Very well written out letter, thank you DBC!

Just Tom said...

Well written letter, I know you have spent lot of time to make this letter more positive approach! Thank you...

Just Tom

Divided said...

Eloquently written letter...well done! Now you need to find ways to spread the word about DBC ...get into shows like Oprah and/or write about DBC and submit articles to various publishers/magazines. You need to be heard out there...go and beat the drum out loud!!

Deb Ann said...

Thank you!

And thanks to Aidan Mack, too.

Thank you all (winks)

Aidan Mack said...

To Ella, Barb, John Tami, David E. and David R.:

Professionally Written letter. Great job! Thank you so much for contributing your time and writing a letter to Pespi.

Veditz fought for us to be able accessing sign language and now it is our turn to fight fo Deaf babies/children's rights access to Sign Language all over the world. You all ROCKS!

Aidan

Anonymous said...

Hello there!

What an excellent letter! Excellent information is extremely positive! I am very proud of you all!

Hugs,

DeafASLman

Anonymous said...

John Critser says:

This letter from DBC to PepsiCo, is a legendary letter that completely invalidated AGBell's previous letter to Pepsi with infinite wisdom that cannot be obtained through ignorance, which in AGBell's case, is plenty.

The leadership of DBC is the pillar which strengthens the Deaf Community and keeps ASL on the map. The letter was written without having the Cochlear Implant inserted surgically and without the years of speech therapy.

It was well written because ASL is a very invaluable tool to enhancing our English skills, the overall reading and writing skills, learned the time from when we were babies into adulthood.

AGBell in-house is in a mess in regards to their vision, which has tunnel vision and close-minded. They, I agree, don't represent or speak for the Deaf community.

Tina Jo said...

THANK YOU….
for undertaking the #1 approach to create awareness and support actions ensuring that ASL is not denied from the lives of Deaf babies and children. Commitment is a vital ingredient in all-human endeavor. Committing to promote part of a fascinating world related to Deaf life in America – getting the very access to ASL. Pepsi Co. has shown a section of a Deaf world to millions, and that disturbed AGBell. This is unbelievable when I see AGBell sounding like Hitler all over again. Very disturbing! The only groups that should ever be represented in the media are those in the majority!

As the Deaf life touched millions with its vibrant language, enduring culture, and close-knit community, we have an obligation to deliver this consistent message dedicated to Deaf babies and children. Shouldn’t we call for assistance from the United Nations? (One of their missions is to advocate for the protection of children’s rights……..to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.)

Deaf Artist said...

Well done, DBC!!

Thank you, Joey, for post this out.
That's how my mother been told by these people from AG Bell for not letting me learn ASL until I prove it to her that it's nothing wrong. The Deaf Community has been using it more than Oral Deaf does.

I felt through all my years wasted my time to undergo through speech therapy when I want to finish my education. Speech therapy is a waste of time and did not help me at all, but I grew up with my hearing family and learn to read their lips and by listening what they say through wearing my hearing aid. Which is why I agree with John Critser from above.

Again, thanks to Joey for posted it out for us.

Henry

Judge said...

Hats off to DBC..

Curious who drew the logo? I must have missed the unvieling??

Way to go the DBC!!

Hetha said...

I just found you today while trying to find a copy of the letter to Pepsi from AGBell. You'll be a great resource for me as a hearing parent to a deaf child. I might not make any friends here since my son has Ci's, but we are currently trying our best to give him the gift of ASL and the links you provide in the sidebar will certainly be helpful.

Great letter and great job at what you're doing!

brenster- said...

Excellent Letter!