A lost part of my culture

by Bridget P.


(Weiser, ID USA)

Growing up I was a victim of oralism or audism. The doctors and specialists told my mother not to put me in deaf school or for ASL to be taught, rather I was to learn how to speak correctly and read lips.

I was mainstreamed in public school and it was expected of me to be the one to know what was going on without help. It was very lonely and hard. I remember wondering where the other deaf children were!

I was teased by my hearing classmates by the way I talked and the fact that I couldn’t understand them. We learned of Helen Keller briefly in public school and I remember wishing that we had spent more time on her history!

My favorite deaf person that I can relate to is Heather Whitestone! I remember watching that Miss America Pageant and was so inspired by what she accomplished and how she didn’t lay down and let hearing people tell her what she couldn’t do!

More recently I am a fan of Deanne Bray and her husband Troy Kotsur. They are wonderful examples of successful people that have gone far beyond what hearing culture has told them they can do.

I feel like because of oralism I lost a big part of a culture and a community of people where I would have been embraced and encouraged that being deaf was an asset rather than a disability!

Comments for A lost part of my culture

Oct 07, 2014

You don’t have to be lonely anymore

NEW

by: Anonymous


I’m truly sorry for what you’ve suffered. Unfortunately, it has and does happen to a lot of deaf people. However, you don’t have to keep missing out on this part of yourself. Start educating yourself in ASL and get involved in the deaf community around you. Gallaudet university has some resources you can look into and sites like hearinglikeme.com can help you connect to other Deaf people in your area. I hope things get better for you.


Nov 21, 2011

Thanks

NEW

by: Anonymous


Thank you for sharing your story. It really helps us hearing folks to gain a better understanding. I really think public schools need to teach more common decency and respect to their students. Kids can be so mean but it’s up to us adults to teach them better.


Sep 08, 2010

A feeling of sadness…

by: Melodie


Reading your post gives me a feeling of sadness and loss. I don’t understand why society always must impose the ‘general consensus’ on others. I believe that people in general are breaking away from this little by little. It just won’t be fast enough for many of us.