What’s it like being Deaf? A snaphot moment.

“What’s it like, being Deaf?” he asked.

“Well, for me, it depends on who I am with at the moment. If I’m alone, then I am content with being Deaf. If I’m with people who can communicate with me, that’s good too. It’s not an issue. But when I’m with someone who can’t communicate with me, well, sometimes it’s hard.”

“How’s it hard?”

“Depends, again. You got people who are willing to make the effort to communicate, to meet me where I am, and you got people who expect me to do the work, meeting them where they are. But meeting them where they are isn’t always possible. Sometimes I feel like it’d be similar to a person in a wheelchair outside a building that is only accessible by steps, and the person inside is saying ‘come on up.'”

“That wouldn’t be fair.”

“You got it. It’s not. But what would you do, if you were the one who needed the other person to take those steps toward you?”

What would YOU do? How would you answer the question of what it’s like to be Deaf?

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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