I hope this post finds you doing well, I’m just chilling enjoying my first real night off in about two weeks. I feel like sometimes summer can get to be busier than the school year.
I have been a camp counselor at the same deaf summer camp every summer for as long as I can remember. The camp is called “Hearts for Hearing” and it is an amazing institution. It is the first and only of it’s kind in the state, and the only one that I know of in the country.
Hearts for Hearing has been instrumental in making hundreds of completely deaf children, like myself (I once was a child…), able to listen and speak at the same levels as developing children of their age level. There are children in the program that drive from hundreds of miles away to attend this listening therapy camp so that they can develop their listening and speaking skills. It truly is inspirational.
I find it amazing that people always believe the first stereotypes they encounter. For instance, typically many people believe that African American diners don’t tip well. Honestly, I think that that is false. Downright wrong. I have had many hundreds of Black families give me better tips than many other White tables left me. It is always the one table that spurs the comments, doesn’t matter what color. Given one bad tip and the server will find a reason to justify why they didn’t leave money. It is sad that they fall to race.
The reason why I brought up stereotypes is because of the stereotypes cast on deaf people. Instantly people believe the deaf stereotypes when they encounter me.
People instantly believe at first look that I am dumb, a lower class citizen (Who knows that could be how I look ha ha). But typically the deaf=dumb stigma can still stand sometimes at first introduction. It is the job of every deaf human being, at least every one who cares, to break down those walls and show everybody else that they are perfectly capable of any task they set their mind too (how cliché, I know).
Sometimes that chance isn’t given to them though. People don’t allow them the chance to prove themselves as perfectly capable human beings. That is why it is the job of everybody else to not judge a book by it’s cover. Just because somebody is deaf doesn’t mean they are any less capable of doing something than you would be. If any of the 40 kids that are 100% deaf in the summer camp, but every one of them talks on level that was much higher than when they started, aren’t enough proof, then look at the graduates of the program.
The graduates of the program are going on to mainstreamed schools (those are normal public schools, not deaf schools) and eventually going on to college. I personally am in college, and two of my deaf friends are in college or have graduated.
I hope somebody learned something today, the kinds in the program have always been inspirational to me and I wanted to share a little of it with you today.
Have a good rest of your week!