Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Deaf Coffee Night at Jazz-n-Java"

It was my first day to assist a Deaf/ Hard of hearing event. I met Jessica Villanueva outside from the cafeteria. Then, she introduced me to the group. Everyone was hearing people except one girl. They all shared their experiences and why they were interested to learn sign language; some of them have relatives and friends as Deaf or hard of hearing, others just want to learn it as a benefit and be successful in their life. It really inspired me to become more fluent on sign language, however since I came to this country I wanted to become familiar with sign language to facilitate my life and challenge a hearing world. There were three fluent signers; two of them were interpreters from Baptist University and one was a Deaf student from Baptist University, her name is Randi. She was born Deaf. Her parents don’t know a lot ASL. They communicate by writing. However Randi learned to read lips since she went to elementary school. She didn’t go to a Deaf school. She learned SEE sign language, when she was younger but it was only used as home sign, and very limited. School was harder communication but she was really a good student. She was able to teach herself a lot of stuff and work on her own. It made some things harder but overall all of it made a better student. A lot of times school was harder socially because she didn’t understand what was going on all the time. But as time went on she developed a close circle of friends and went on from there. They understood each other and then she was involved in the conversation.
I enjoyed meeting new people and know their experiences, especially from Randi; she gave me new ideas and opportunities to know how a Deaf person feels in a hearing world. It made me to feel strong, comfortable, and positive and accept myself as I am. There are not more fears to face the world, because I know I’m not alone. Now I can see, that I can do things not matter what. Now I’m looking forward to meet more Deaf/ hard of hearing people to fill my life with wonderful motivations and accept challenges.