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Monday, September 24, 2018

Deaf Awareness Week: I'm Deaf and I'm Dope :: 10 Facts About Me

It’s #DeafAwarenessWeek! Here’s 10 facts about me.

1. I was born deaf. I’m the only deaf in my family. (That I know of)

2. My parents didn’t find out I was deaf until I was age two. The story goes that I was attending a summer camp at the local YMCA and the instructor noticed I wasn’t responding to his commands, instead I’d follow what the other kids were doing. It was suggested I get my ears checked out.
{I still don't listen to folks and I no longer follow the crowds. I'm good blazing my own trail.} 

3. I’m completely deaf in my right ear. I have partial hearing in my left ear. I’ve been wearing a hearing aid since I was a toddler.

4. I was a rebellious kid growing up. My parents are yellers/lecturers so often times I would turn my hearing aid off on the slick to tune them out. One time Mama caught me and slapped me so hard that my aid fell out of my ear and across the kitchen floor. She made me put it back on and I had to listen to another round of lectures. #BlackMamasBeLike 

5. Growing up, I used very little sign language around my family. That was reserved only for school/classmates. It wasn’t until I got to RIT, I picked up ASL.

6. I repeated kindergarten twice. The first year in a class with other deaf students. I excelled well academically so the school wanted to test me out in a regular kindergarten classroom with hearing peers the following year. Looking back, that “test/pilot” phase should of happened in 1st grade, not kindergarten.

7. I almost didn’t come to RIT/NTID. My high school teacher begged me to check out a summer program (EYF). I was resistant because I didn’t want to go to “that deaf school.” - - That summer was life changing. At RIT/NTID I found out there was a place for someone like me who could co-switch between both deaf + hearing worlds. {Go Tigers!!} 

8. My deafness enriched my life. I wouldn’t trade it or wish anything otherwise.

9. Please do not ever ask to pray for my ears or feel sorry that I have a hearing loss. I’m made in God’s perfect image. There’s nothing wrong with me. 
{Yes, that has happened to me. Several times. One time Grandma took me to a Benny Hinn revival and begged me to join him on stage for my healing. #BlessHer} 

10. I’m not hearing-impaired. I’m not broken. I don’t need to be fixed. I’m deaf and I’m dope.

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