International Deaf Awareness Week 2012 at Toronto, Canada.
September 18-24th 2011 is the International Deaf Awareness Week.
So many events to enjoy!
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"What is it like to be Deaf?"
People have asked me.
How are you Deaf? Deaf?... Oh, hmm... how do I explain that? Simple: I can't hear. No, wait... it is much more than that. It is similar to a goldfish in a bowl, always observing things going on. People talking at all times. It is like a man on his own island Among foreigners. Isolation is no stranger to me. Relatives say hi and bye, but I sit for 5 hours among them. Taking great pleasure at amusing babies, or being amused by TV. Reading books, resting, helping out with food. Natural curiosity perks up. Upon seeing great laughter, crying, anger. Inquiring only to meet with a "Never mind", "Nothing" or "Oh, it's not important". Getting a summarized statement of the whole day. I'm supposed to smile to show my happiness. Little do they know how truly miserable I am. People are in control of language usage, I am at loss and really uncomfortable there. Always feeling like an outsider among the hearing people, even though it was not their intention. They are always assuming that I am part of them by my physical presence, not understanding the importance of communication. Facing the choice between Deaf Event weekend or a family reunion. Facing the choice between the family commitment and Deaf friends. I must make the choices constantly, any wonder why I choose Deaf friends??? I get such great pleasure at the Deaf clubs, before I realize it, it is already 2:00 am, Whereas I anxiously look at the clock every few minutes at the Family Reunion. With Deaf people, I feel so normal, our communication flows back and forth. Catch up with little trivials, our daily life, our frustration in the bigger world, Seeking the mutual understanding, contented smiles and laughter are musical. So magical to me, so attuned to each other's feelings. True happiness is so important. I feel more at home with Deaf people of various color, religion, short or tall. Than I do among my own hearing relatives and you wonder why? Our language is common. We understand each other. Being at loss of control Of the environment that is communication, People panic and retreat to avoid Deaf people like the plague. But Deaf people are still human beings with dreams, desires, and needs To belong, just like everyone else. That's how I am DEAF."
Video source by IDAW2012