(Pinon Hills CA USA)
I came to be on this site because my nephew decided that he wanted to learn ASL. We are both martial arts instructors and plan on opening a school soon. A family came in and their son was totally deaf but wanted to learn karate and there was no one where we live to accommodate. So my nephew thought to take a class at his college, and I came here.
Talk about being overwhelmed with emotion. I was always raised to believe that nothing is impossible. Having a walking disability myself and being told I would never walk but less do karate, I proved everyone wrong. But what if that was something society frowned upon? I would be oppressed because I could not walk as fast as someone else?
When I read about how the deaf people were oppressed it broke my heart. I am glad that there were so many people who thought this not so, and worked to create what I see now as a beautiful language. To give deaf people and their families a standard language to communicate with each other. The self esteem that is built, the achievable goals they can reach.
I grew up listening to Beethoven with my grandfather, listening to stories about Helen Keller, and others. These stories just proved what I was being told – NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. So for me to sit here and say this person is my favorite or that person, I can’t. Because for me – as modern as you Michelle – putting in the effort to make this site and these lessons for people like me to learn ASL you are playing a part in deaf history. For people like Abbe de L’Epee who paved this long road for the deaf to be accepted, for William Stokoe who made this language an accepted language. I couldn’t pick just one – I am just thankful that there were people who took action and set out goals to not only educate the deaf but give them back their self esteem and dignity as humans.
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