“Excuses change nothing, but make everyone feel better.” - Mason Cooley
Living the life I lead thanks to guidance by my parents who saw me being deaf as one of many parts to me, I learned that me being deaf is not an excuse for me to be lazy, unintelligent, or angry at the world all the time. I have a responsibility to myself, not only a responsibility to the world I live in.
While there is the concept of the 80:20 rule, where the 20% of the populace is active in advocacy, volunteering and so forth, the 80% lives off the 20%. Unfortunately, that is true in the community in which I live in. Twenty percent of the community would consist of 10 people. The rest of them tend to say "Oh well, I'm deaf, I don't need to do that." and so on. Those are excuses. Lack of action is an excuse to avoid responsibility.
Allowing deaf to be an excuse is creating a sense of irresponsibility to one's future. How many K-12 deaf or hard of hearing students in the public schools are being passed along just because they are deaf? How many of them have fully developed language or socialization skills? How many of them are oppressed in their homes by the lack of quality communication with their families? "You don't need to know." "I will tell you later (only never to be told)".
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” - George Washington Carver
Who do the excuses belong to? What responsibility does each of us have towards one another? If ninety-nine percent of failures come from the habit of excusing, who holds the responsibility to the deaf children? They will become deaf adults one day down the road. What they learn now is what they will use in their future.
Allowing the child's deaf aspect to stand out rather than them, as a whole; whether 'deaf' is being ignored or hidden is providing an excuse for the child's life to hinge on one stigma until death, rather than the whole experience.
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.