I was born profoundly deaf, which means that I have total deafness in both ears. My disability has limited the educational institutions I could attend and the extent to which I could participate in community and other activities. It also poses a safety risk for me since it does leave me feeling vulnerable in society.
It is difficult to communicate with people outside of the Deaf community. Usually people are tolerant, they try to help and to understand you by communicating through written notes although most places are not Deaf-friendly. One of the biggest problems is that people stare at you in public. Imagine growing up and being afraid to speak sign language in public because people stare and point.
There is a wide range of deafness and we all have different needs; but it doesn’t make us any less intelligent or ambitious than hearing individuals.
I would like society to be aware of and promote the concept of deaf-friendliness; whether it’s emotional: empathy and patience; interpersonal: eye contact, clear speech and the willingness to accommodate a variety of communication needs; or providing accessibility to services and opportunities through technology that suit our needs.