As Deaf women, we have a right to know what’s going on around us. For so long, we walked around ignorant, but not anymore. Now we want people to know their rights and that it’s okay to speak up and how to protect ourselves against awful or traumatic experiences. I was a victim before in my life, and I learn now how I can become a survivor. And I really want to show others how they can become survivors too.
You can do it! Don’t just sit back and let things pass you by! If you need help, look for it! Deaf people can do it! Don’t allow other hearing people and mainstream society to look down on you, push it aside, and go on! Women have power!
At the time I lived in New Hampshire, so I went home on the weekends and stayed at the dorms at school. Next school I went to was Columbus School for the Deaf in Ohio. I stayed in dorms there too, but only went home for holidays, just Christmas, Easter, for summer vacation. I really preferred being at school because there were Deaf people there and I could sign. It was much more exciting than going home because my hometown is very small and there are not many Deaf people there I can interact with.
I would want people to know that I don’t want to be put in a box. When you first meet me, I don’t want you to think ‘Oh I know that person,’ because I have many different faces really, when I’m working or when I’m at home or when I’m with my family. I’m different I have a different personality almost, in each situation it’s interesting, it’s fun to see the different sides of me but I don’t want to be put in a box.
When I see a student developing and learning, and I see that they have goals and ambitions, academics, social, and their behavior- everything together is improving. That’s what I see as success. I don’t look at myself, I look at them and see their individual successes…they’re excited about school and they’re passionate about learning, that’s what I see as success.
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