As you know I have mentioned that I was born deaf, with a mild Cerebral Palsy which is invisible and I was pretty upset when I found out I couldn’t hear when I was at young age. My parents found out I am deaf when I was only three years old and took me to couple hospitals to do hearing tests to determine whether or not if Im deaf or not. I remember going to the specialist to request for an operation but unfortunately the doctor told me that he couldn’t do that due to the fact that it could kill me. After a while, I came to understanding myself as a deaf person and accepting who I am. My parents put me in a regular school where they provide an assistance for me in order to learn how to read and write. A lot of my friends wanted to learn sign language so they could communicate with me. The school wanted to set up a class where the students could learn to communicate with me and then I started noticing all of my friends that learned how to sign. I started hanging out with the same group of friends and I feel blessed to have them in my life through school years. When my helper was sick, my friends would offer support so that I wouldn’t miss what my teacher taught us. I used to take notes from the black board and looking at interpreter at the same time and I didn’t feel it was hard for me. My family all took their time to learn how to sign as well and I had someone coming in once a week named Brent Paul. He is the one who taught my family and myself how to sign in order to communicate with each other and my brother named Will, he’d get involved with what Brent Paul had taught me. The media press got involved and wrote an article in the newspaper about what my life was like in the hearing world and school and they were impressed.
I was told by the school that I would have interpreter in high school, she also signs ASL (American Sign Language) that deaf people use and I didn’t even learn that yet. I didn’t understand clearly why they had to do that and I was upset that my helper had to change. Mrs Nickel was the helper for 8 years with me and I was uncomfortable with her leaving because she was great with me. I was signing S.E.E (Signed Exact English) that my family use and having an ASL interpreter was a big challenge for me so I begged interpreter to teach me ASL so that I could communicate with deaf people in general so she did for me; I admit when I learned ASL, I almost gave up to learn ASL because it was so hard to change my first English language. In grade 8, the school offered me to visit the deaf school for a week, I was really nervous because I knew nothing about deaf school or their language. I came back to regular school telling them how my visit was, it was a little awkward for me and I didn’t want to go back there.
Through my childhood life I never got to meet deaf people, their culture, their language and it was hidden from me for years. Every time I try to meet deaf people, have conversation with them and when they find out I was from the hearing world they would automatically ignore me or to create limit conversation and would not make me feel welcome. I did some research on deaf culture and their way of life and the more I learn about them makes that easy for me to understand them. I would have to disagree with one of their actions that they think they need to throw other deaf people away just because the they are from different world or different country but their identify is same. I am speaking from my experience with them and how I felt through times. I then got use to being around hearing people more and more because I feel they could understand me better and I understand them better. What are there any different for anyone that we live in many diversities in the world? What do you expect world to do for you? We all have to accept the way individuals are and just love them who they are.
I am now a full time makeup artist and photography as well. I love to meet interesting people as much as enjoying my career and that I can make people feel good about themselves when I make them look beautiful. I like to see that my clients are satisfied with my work and make it a success.
By: Carolyn Bulsink