I am a proud member of the St John’s Ambulance Cadets. As well as training to be first aiders, we also learn a lot of life skills. Recently, we have been doing respect. We have talked a lot about diversity, discrimination and equality. I have really enjoyed the project as this blog, A Light In The Darkness, is dedicated to raising awareness and discussing these issues with other kids and young people. To hear other’s opinions and thoughts was so valuable and encouraging for me. It showed me that there are others out there that are passionate about what’s going on in the world.
For the final stage, we were each given a subject to research and write a presentation on. I was given ‘Deafness’.
So here is what I wrote:
Being deaf can cut you off from the world, can make you feel lonely, depressed and anxious, but when you realise that deafness isn’t your whole identity, you can be free from that. It is our job, as a deaf person’s friend to include them and value them. Just like we shouldn’t judge people on their appearance or on their beliefs, we should never judge a deaf person on their disability. They have hopes, dreams, ideas, personalities, skills, contributions to our society.
But sometimes it can be difficult for hearing people, like me and you, to truly understand the life of a hearing impaired person and so it is good for them to have others who know how they feel. That’s why BSL, ASL, PSE and other sign languages in different countries are so important. They give a sense of belonging and communication to people who find it hard to connect with the rest of the population.
The history of signing goes back a long way, it has been used by both deaf and hearing people since the middle ages, but was only recognised as an official language in May 2003, just a few months before I was born. And that was only after long, hard struggles and protests by both the deaf and hearing communities.
Many people in the last few years, including myself, have taken up learning to sign to help and embrace deaf friends and friends to be and I hope you and the entire world will continue to do so.
Is there something you really care about? Or something that affects your life? Your thoughts are always valued and I would love to hear them if you’ve got a minute to leave a comment. Also, I want you to know, that this blog is a place where everyone is respected.