>> Monday, January 25, 2010
On one hand, there are the deaf people who grew up feeling different and limited, instead of special. They're the ones who are not supported by their families, who don't have a chance of realizing their strengths and other abilities, who have not embraced their deafness. Most of them are probably those born into families that are not well off but even moneyed families can be in denial of a child's special needs.
And then there are the Deaf, those who have given every opportunity to learn, explore and interact with their world on their own terms. They're sent to the right schools, supported in their activities, etc. They're the ones who, even if they may not have that supportive (or understanding) a family, have embraced their deafness and special needs and decided to keep moving forward, get the help they need, and rely on themselves and the Deaf family they have.
I have mentioned before about how the Deaf are empowered to seek help, and usually they really do need help. Well, like what I said, 90% of the population in CSB are on scholarship. Some of them even had haphazard schooling because their parents were in denial or didn't want to invest in them. I've told of two incidents where a Deaf sought help because she was feeling faint from hunger, and another of a Deaf who partied with his Deaf fellows and then with us FSL students while, all that time, he knew he'd have to ask for help in the end because his bag has been ripped and wallet stolen. I think few hearing people would be partying like that if they don't know where to get transportation money. Chances are, we'd have approached someone for help the very first chance we get, like borrowed from a friend, before we go on with our day.
Not the Deaf!
A parent of a Deaf 12-year old told me that she laments about how her daughter would sometimes bring home someone just expecting that her Mom is okay with feeding that stranger. Another parent of a Deaf child told me that his daughter is also very vigilant about forcing him to contribute to anything and everything. They cannot pass donation boxes or people asking for alms without his daughter insisting they give. He says his daughter loves Red Cross and shows up for any calls for volunteers.
A Deaf person does not hesitate to ask for help. In fact, i'd even say that they have this blind trust that it will be given to them. And they also do not hesitate to help, perhaps because they know how it is to need help.
There isn't that general shyness and "what will they think of me?" in the Deaf. And I love it about them and really hope more deaf will become Deaf, an empowered non-hearing person who still contributes to the world.