What did you say?

Posted by jennifer gibson on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 Under: 2016
I recently came across an article that reminded me of the importance of staying true to our heart. Following our dreams is more important than listening to someone trying to destroy it. Just because we have a hearing loss doesn't mean that we can't try.

For some reason, people seem to think that it's okay to offer unsolicited advice on my life. I've heard it all. Ironically. Don't get me wrong, some of those individuals genuinely thought that they were doing a good thing but in reality, it was entirely inappropriate. Going up to a person with a hearing loss and telling they should not be signing up for a sports team or not to apply for a certain job is not only patronizing, it's unethical. Telling them how to live their live is morally wrong. It's not their place to tell us what to do just because they think we are not capable of doing it. How could anyone possibly know that? They have only seen a glimpse of what it's like for us.

Making assumptions about our abilities can be very debilitating and incredibly erroneous. We all have dreams. We have the same rights as everyone else. And we have the choice to apply our skills wherever we wish. It's also our responsibility to speak up if a business, school or organization does not provide an accessible platform for people with disabilities. They should be doing everything they can to accommodate our needs to provide a fair learning opportunity so that we can broaden our horizons.

I've had many people say "You shouldn't apply for that job" or "You can't take that course at school" or "You can't be a instructor." Well, guess what? I did all of those things and not only succeeded in it, I excelled. I've received many awards in return. It took an inordinate amount of hard work but I did it. The only way that this happened was that I ignored the people who told me I couldn't or shouldn't do it, and went ahead and tackled that challenge head on. I had to try. I had to find out on my own what I could do. No one had the right to force me miss out on opportunities just because they thought I couldn't do it.

My advice to those that want to tell what to do with our lives? Avoid saying anything negative. Instead, cheer us on. Root for us. Let us discover the joy of being a student, an athlete, or a teacher. Let us find out what we can do. We have to learn, and the only way for us to do that is to give it a try. Everyone else did. Why not us?

Today, I have more than one job. I'm a photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, public speaker, award-winning author and book cover designer. I love doing all of those things. It brings me great joy and satisfaction when I complete an assignment especially when my clients rave about it. I feel like l belong, even just for a little while. That makes it more special for me. It gives me the ability to appreciate what I can do.

For of you interested, here's the article that inspired today's blog: http://www.signlanguagenyc.com/deaftalent-everywhere-part-ii/

By the way, I came across this pretty cool article about a woman who created a photo shoot showcasing a model wearing hearing aids and using a walker. That's pretty impressive! I'm thrilled that someone is taking the initiative to change the stigma of having a disability. Go check it out: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2719135/Hearing-aids-beautiful-earrings-blinged-walking-frames-The-Artist-inspired-grandmother-redefine-disability-accessories.html




In : 2016 


Tags: talent  appreciation  joy  "follow our dreams" assumptions   
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