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From the President's Pen

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!

Marilyn