My Special Thanks to My Mother About Gallaudet

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
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My special thanks to Gallaudet!   This is where I  first entered the Deaf culture/American Sign Language for the first time in my life.

I grew up not knowing any sign language and had very good speech. I never dreamed that I would ever be involved in the Deaf world until my mother told me and my brother about Gallaudet, a college for the Deaf in Washington DC. I never knew Gallaudet existed or even the fact that Deaf people do go to college( no one in my mainstream schools told me).  I always thought that I was a hearing person with a severe hearing problem(90 db).

When I arrived to Gallaudet in the summer of 1966 to learn sign language before 1st semester, I did not think that I would ever learn the ASL at the level of the Deaf students but what really hit me the most was that I felt the warmth and comfort of being around other Deaf people.  I think that it was the body language and the way they communicated with each other that made me realize that these Deaf people are part of my “long-lost” family. That emotional feeling gave me the desire to learn sign language everyday as much as I could during my waking hours. Even when going to bed,(we had curfew hours back then), I would practice my alphabet in the dark over and over and over.

My desire to be fluent in ASL paid off when an upperclass student asked me which Deaf School  did I go to.  This was in November only after my 1st semester.

This is when I began to feel like a normal person having the ability to have normal interactive conversations with other human beings without having the difficulty to read lips and despite the fact that I have very good speech for a Deaf person.

Later I married a Deaf classmate from North Dakota and we started our family.  We have  two Deaf children and now three Deaf grandchildren.

I thank my mother and I love her for realizing that maybe Gallaudet would help me in my search and in my journey into Deafhood.

Here is a picture of my family. All are Deaf, except the dog.

  1. Don G. says:

    A very good rebuttal to “odes to a Hearing mom”, John! Love the family pic!

  2. CheryLfromMA says:

    beautiful family! and lol @ the dog being not Deaf 🙂

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