I will never forget this one interaction when I was working in Odessa. I had a little boy come up to me to tell me he couldn’t wait to be an adult. When I inquired why, I was expecting his answer to include talking about more freedom or being able to make his own decisions. His answer has stuck with me for over 20 years. He wanted to grow up so he could be hearing. Why would he think that? All the adults in his world had been hearing so he just assumed that once he became an adult, he would be hearing as well.
So many of our children are the only Deaf or Hard of Hearing people in their family. It’s important for them to see Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults so they know the opportunities waiting for them as they grow up. Regardless of the communication mode chosen in your home, you can find Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults who your children can view as role models. In person relationships are obviously best, but there’s TONS of resources online as well. Below are some ideas to help you find those Deaf and Hard of Hearing role models for your child.
Where Do You Find Deaf Folks?
Where do you find these Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults? Below are a few ideas.
At your child’s school
Find out if you have Deaf adults working within your child’s school or school district. Talk about it with your child to help connect the dots. “Ms. Jones is deaf like you! Maybe you’ll become a teacher when you’re older. Would you like that?”
You can find lots and lots of content on social media. I always preview it first. Check out these to help you start your search!
- 58 Creativity: Deaf Artist who will often provide free sign language materials throughout the year.
- Sorenson: Deaf run company that often posts videos of Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults.
- Seek the World: Deaf individual who finds other deaf and hard of hearing people around the world and interviews them. (My son now wants to build airplanes for Boeing after watching a video of his. Hopefully this will get me some free flights in my future!)
- Deaf Aggies & Friends: This is a specific group for Aggie loving Deaf folks!
- Signed with Heart: Deaf woman who teaches sign language in a way that is very easy to understand.
- Asian Hungry: (Instagram Only) Deaf foodie who loves to share her experiences eating diverse foods. (She’s even eaten cricket tacos!)
- Tennifer: Deaf Artist who creates fun textiles
- The Daily Moth: Deaf individuals sign news stories of interest.
- Deafies in Drag: Deaf comedians within the LGBTQ community that post skits in sign.
- Language Priority: Deaf owned business with a focus on bringing awareness to language deprivation. Also has a store with lots of deaf related apparel and gifts.
- National Deaf Black Advocates: This is a national advocacy group for thousands of Black deaf and hard of hearing people.
- Deaf News Today: Posts about Deaf and Hard of Hearing historical figures as well as current Deaf news.
- You can also search “Deaf in [insert town] to find out if there’s a deaf Facebook group in your town or a town we are visiting. They’ve got them from San Angelo all the way to Maui!!
Deaf events are full of diverse people. You will find Deaf/Hard of Hearing adults from all backgrounds!
- DeafNation Expo
- Local Deaf clubs
- ASL Outdoor groups
- Deaf Coffee
- Aid the Silent: Deaf, Woman run advocacy organization.
- Ask your Regional Day School Program for the Deaf. Many RDSPDs hire Deaf adults or host events where they invite a variety of Deaf/Hard of Hearing people to present.
This is fun to do when you travel. It’s always an eye opening experience when your child meets a Deaf/Hard of Hearing adult from a different area. I’ve been known to stop a random stranger or two when I see them signing so my son can meet them. Is he always excited at the time? No. Do I care? Only a little bit.
- Deaf owned businesses near me
- Deaf owned restaurants near me
- Deaf engineer
- Deaf teacher
- Deaf Pilot
However you choose to do it…FIND THOSE DEAF ADULTS! Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are extremely diverse, and you are bound to find individuals who are like minded or represent similar parts of society as you do.
Lindsay’s Language Lounge
Multiple meaning words are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings when used in a different context. Each of my blogs will have a different multiple meaning word and ways that you can incorporate its use in everyday conversations.
This month’s multiple meaning word is…SWEET!
- [Pull $5 out of your pocket] “Oh sweet! I just found $5 in my pocket!”
- [Catch your child being kind] “That was so sweet of you to hold the door open for me. Thanks.”
- [Ordering Boba Tea] “I only want 25% sugar in my drink because I don’t want it to be too sweet!”
- [Sorting through Halloween candy] “OOOO! I’m going to take all the sweet candy. You can have all the sour stuff!”
- [Holding a baby] “Look at that sweet little face!”
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
We look forward to sharing information on topics that are of interest to you as well as relevant to the area of Deaf Education. Here is a link to get feedback on the topics you would like to be covered https://forms.gle/k68CSrARgbbXMsdV9.