Hearing Role Models

Quoted from YouTube channel:

Transcript: Hi, I’m Adrean, and today I have a short message to share. My twin sons and I went to meet someone really special today — Austin Andrews of the Awti Productions Youtube channel. The three of us went to visit him, and we had a great time chatting. My sons are hearing CODAs. They had seen Austin on Youtube, so they were starry-eyes about meeting him. Throughout our conversations they were completely fascinated by Austin. On the way home afterwards, the boys were still talking about Austin and the good time that we had together. It made me think for a bit. Austin is hearing, and a fluent signer. Our entire conversation at the table was through ASL. He didn’t try to “speak on the side” to my boys — he stayed 100% within ASL. I’ve had many incidences in the past where hearing people who are fluent in both ASL and English put English first and start speaking to my kids. Our experience with Austin is an exception, and it had a huge impact on my boys. It made me think about hearing role models — and the lack of them. We need more! Hearing culture takes pride in the ability to speak, so much that despite being in a signing environment it’s still in the back of the mind to speak whenever an opportunity shows up. People need to put that aside and enjoy fully their signing identity. My boys are starved for opportunities to explore their ASL side. There’s plenty of opportunities out there for speaking — they don’t really want more of that. They enjoyed their immersion tonight, and having me as their mom being included on the conversation. They loved having a role model at the table with them. I want to encourage more hearing (and Deaf!) role models! What do you all think?

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Thomsen Young

Founder of SG
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