I Can Relate Too

by Elizabeth
(United States)

Great article. Thanks for writing this. I am HOH and have been mainstreamed in public schools. Like most other HOH people, later on in my life I learned ASL and met other deaf and HOH people. I was amazed at how I became more confident in myself asi learned more about myself. It was as if a mirror was constantly being held in front of me. I understood why I was the way I was growing up (like why I always tried to avoid large groups of people). There were plenty of other HOH people who experienced the same things I experienced. I thought I was the only one. It is nice to know that you are not alone.

Now I am an Itinerant teacher for deaf and HOH students. I can't believe how much things have not changed since I was a student. Academics is the main focus. They still neglect the social emotional aspect. Many of my students are not really fully included in the classroom, even if they have an interpreter.
I can relate to what my students are going through, socially and emotionally. I think it is sad that they have never met another deaf or HOH adult (other than me). I feel like I can't do much to help them (I never have enough time with them). I am struggling with trying to get them to advocate for themselves (ask questions, be responsible for their listening assistive devices, let others be aware of their deafness, etc.). It is easier said than done, especially for teenagers. How are they supposed to do this when they feel that they are the only one in the entire school (and often are) dealing with this?



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