Age 23, Deaf
Photographed by Matthew Vita
Born in silence, raised as a strong, loud, and vibrant woman. Deafness became my “courage.” American Sign Language is a gift therefore it is a gift to be Deaf. American Sign Language (ASL) allows me to express myself, characteristics highlighted in a unique and bold way. ASL miraculously aligned with how I express myself. Having extensive experience of working with hearing professionals has allowed me to grow my understanding of how advocacy works and being inclusive in an environment where others may have unmet needs.
Deafness not only touches one person, but it touches people around me. My brother can’t watch TV without captions because he grew up with a Deaf sister. When my Mom has a cold, she uses sign language to communicate with the family. I am currently a graduate school student at the worlds’ only Deaf university, Gallaudet University pursuing a master’s in Public Administration. I know my second degree will allow me to teach professionals how having a Deaf coworker can enhance one’s outlook on thinking outside of the box.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path” – Buddha