A New Name A New Image?
So, we have a new name. We're not
ACE-HI anymore; and we have rejected ACE-ED.
Yes, we have a new name, a new trademark, and
perhaps, a new identity. We are now ACE-
DHH Association of College Educators-Deaf and
Hard of Hearing. I have been thinking about our
new name a lot. Why did we bother to change?
After all, the NAACP has not changed its name
despite the negative connotations associated. But,
we felt strongly that "hearing-impaired" had to go.
Were we looking to change more than just our
name? Are we in fact, aspiring to a new image?
Obviously, our name did not fit. I
believe, our resolve to change our name was more
than an attempt to be trendy or politically correct.
For many of us, the name did not represent the
organization in the manner in which we wanted to
be portrayed. After all, we are language people.
Language to us is more than words it reflects
our beliefs, our values and our biases. But,
changing our name is only the first step. ACE-
DHH is a name which emphasizes our
determination be inclusive. The name removes
from our title any suggestion that we view people
who are deaf or hard of hearing as "less than"
hearing people or "impaired".
It is our future actions, however, that will
be the final arbiter of true change in our
organization. Is ACE-DHH simply a new name
for the "old" organization? Or will we act on our
beliefs of inclusion and equality? How can we
effect change in teacher education practices?
How will we meet the challenges that our new
name implies? As a family whose name we all
share, we each must ask ourselves how our own
actions, our own programs can positively reflect
our family name. I believe there is true value in a
good name and we have found it!