“Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God, I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:14 

A Bible verse that says to us that we shouldn’t be thinking or even do such things that could harm people especially to infirm ones.  God sees all we do.  Instead, helping each other for one’s improvement may be for the better.

During the past years, people were unaware that children with disability deserve proper education.  They mature physically and learn but do not have any formal learning.  Parents who are teaching their children is not enough but they should also send them to school that handles such different situations of being special.

Schools help a person to develop to the fullest of how they can, with or without disability.  The learning acquired at home or at the environment is not sufficient enough for their total self development.

Personal development, this includes activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilities employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.

Disability should not be a hindrance on people from being successful.  Sometimes as we eat on a fast food, ride on a public vehicle, walk on streets, we meet people using hand signs as their way of communication.  It catches our attention and keeps us on looking at them.  We may not easily understand them.  

A hearing impairment or hearing loss is a full or partial decrease in the ability to detect or understand sounds.  It exists when an individual is not sensitive to the sounds normally heard by its kind. In human beings, the term hearing impairment is usually reserved for people who have relative insensitivity to sound in the speech frequencies.

It can be inherited, both dominant and recessive genes exist which can cause mild to profound impairment. If a family has a dominant gene for deafness it will persist across generations because it will manifest itself in the offspring even if it is inherited from only one parent.

They could have varying amounts of hearing loss, single sided deafness, or lose hearing later in life.  They must adjust to living with the adaptations that make it possible for them to live independently.

Some of the famous and well known people who were deaf and have hearing impairments showed the impossibility that success can be attained despite of their incapacity from then to this times in their absence today.  These people left their epitome of the result of their hardships to prove themselves being worthy of the capabilities God had given them.

Helen Adams Keller, first deaf/blind person to graduate from college, an advocate for people with disabilities, nineteen months of age when she came down of illness could possibly been scarlet fever of meningitis.

Thomas Alva Edison, deafness was caused also by scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle ear infections.  He developed many devices including phonograph and a long lasting light bulb.  These had greatly influenced life around the world.  He was noted to be terrible in mathematics, unable to focus, and had difficulty with words and speech. Ludwig Van Beethoven, completely deaf but able to create and play music, by itself quite a miracle. He conquered his disability and led himself to being one of the greatest musicians of all times.

Linda Bove, deaf American actress who played the part of Linda the Librarian on the children’s television program Sesame Street from 1971-2003.  She has introduced thousands of children to sign language and issues surrounding the Deaf Community. Her role as Linda on Sesame Street is currently the longest recurring role in television history for a deaf person.

In our country there are a number of successful deaf people.  One is Jemima Ming A.  Go, Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Visual Communication, surpassed the challenges of being deaf and graduated cum laude in the 99th Commencement Exercises held on April 25, 2010 at the UP Diliman.  As a part of the deaf community she aims to connect individuals to the hearing world through their skills and talents so that better understanding and acceptance will be achieved.

Ana Kristina Macasaet Arce, the fist Filipina Deaf student that has graduated with magna cum laude title from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).  She was enrolled in the Bachelor in Applied Deaf Studies major in Multimedia Arts, now works as an artist at De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB)’s Marketing and Communications department and an active advocator or Deaf Advocacy program of De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) that encourage deaf Filipinos to pursue college or to pursue education despite of their physical disability and should not mind what the hearing people will see at them.

According to Ana herself, a deaf person could also do anything like a normal person except only to hear. Moreover, Ana also says “..Communication with our hands should not make a difference..We are not different breeds because of our disability.  We also want to live in a society where people will not stare or frown at us or treat us differently…”

We may have heard last year of a deaf  man prevented from boarding plane to Qatar, a news that may be a way of informing public of how people with disability are discriminated.  That person was Franklin Corpuz who works as a Chef in Hotel Venice and Sushine Bakery in Baguio City.  He already had his rigid training for Chefs at the One Landmark Mall in Doha, Qatar.

Physical deformities have never been a hindrance to achieve one’s goal if one has full will and determination to reach that dream goal or pursuit.  Every deaf individual can be capable of doing jobs that hearing people do and that his handicap is not a hindrance to attain what is required in working at any type of environment.

The needed ingredients to this are the support from the family of the individual with disability and the awareness and acceptance of the society that they are the same as we are living and striving for life in this world.

By: Ms. Aileen L. Lumaban | Teacher I | Limay National High School | Limay, Bataan

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