This morning, we all went to our monthly Deaf/HOH Parent Group at Rock Creek Valley E.S. Todays program for the parents was "What is Deaf Culture?". There were 4 Deaf Panelists, and Chuck and I learned so much. It was very interesting to hear about these individual's life story, and their perspective on being deaf in the hearing world. It was a very positive experience for us...and I am so glad that we both were able to go.
Up until Christian was born, my experience with Deaf people was VERY limited. In high school, I taught skating to a group of deaf kids. I learned the ASL signs for Glide, Stop, Jump, and spin. In college, I would see some Galludet kids out at Union Station from time to time. When I was working, I would often help out the Deaf/HOH with arrangements at the various conferences, meetings, and events that I planned. But that is it. Just as it's a challenge for me not know Christian's language as well as I want to, it's also hard not being familiar with his culture. Regardless if his hearing level, whether he's aided or has CIs, if his signs, cues, or lip-reads, HE IS DEAF. I've been so worried about helping him understand, navigate and find his identity in the Deaf Community. One of the panelists today (who is deaf herself and has a deaf son), addressed this very issue, and made a wonderful point. He'll figure it out. He'll decide. And he'll see what he is comfortable with. Until he figures it out, I just want to give him access to his language, and support him.
We saw this AMAZING video today too, by the Deaf Performing Artists Network that I wanted to share...enjoy:
Waiting On the World To Change
***By the way, D-Pan is based out of MY HOMETOWN! For all you Detroiters, you'll notice a couple of our newscasters in the above video. *****************