I knew that CSB had deaf students from my ex-boyfriend, who was once a guidance counselor there. He had to learn a little sign language then. What I didn't know was that CSB was actually holding sign language classes wherein non-CSB students are welcome to learn.
So anyway, it's Deaf Festival there last week, and CSB was celebrating 15 years of its Deaf programme. I was humbled by the cultural show. Imagine deaf people dancing! Plus, it was an altogether new experience watching emcees signing as they introduced numbers, most of the spectators quiet (being deaf themselves), and just marveling at the depth of emotion in the interpretative dances and skits.
gay deaf students dancing to SINGLE LADIES
students dancing to KRAZZY
for me, the star of the show! (he was emcee and in at least
4 dance numbers!)
FSL students and teachers
Mr. Takashi Shozaki is a deaf actor who was absolutely
brilliant! He had everyone laughing, even the hearing.
It was amazing since they were showing a clip of his movie
and then, there he was, on stage!
deaf students flying high
with my FSL classmates and prof
I hear about 90% of the deaf population in CSB are on scholarship and it is a struggle for them after graduation to get hired. I really hope more can be done for the Deaf to be integrated into society and to have equal opportunities as the rest of us. Maybe not the same opportunities but equal nonetheless in terms of pay and value.
And I really am happy am getting to know some deaf people. They have a culture all their own and are less critical and more open than us hearing folks. Plus, I am amazed at the level of enthusiasm and self-expression the deaf students of CSB have. I'm getting redundant here but it's really, really amazing just being welcomed into their world.
Allow me to leave you with a link to quotes from Helen Keller, one who used deafness and blindness to open possibilities for others like her.