We have a local Facebook Page called Humans of Evansville. The page was inspired by the very popular Humans of New York FB page. The purpose is simple – share stories about our community that have a human interest aspect to them.
Today they posted a story about Karen Apfelstadt Kidd. Karen’s interview was conducted through an interpreter because Karen is deaf from rubella. Mainstreamed through special education in public school, she attended the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis as a teenager where she learned American Sign Language (ASL). She is an advocate for more people to learn ASL to communicate with deaf people no differently than we communicate with each other in the “hearing world” as she calls it.
She tells of the challenges in her daily life, including communicating with family members who sign very little. One thing she mentions in the interview is pointed out often in the hearing loss/deaf world – hearing loss and deafness are invisible. You can’t tell by looking at someone that they are deaf or hard of hearing. (Of course, a cochlear implant can be noticeable and you may. notice hearing aids if a person has short hair, but for the most part – invisible.)
Karen’s story today has many comments, mostly in support of learning ASL. I learned that there is a local organization that offers classes locally – I had no idea. For anyone interested, you can take classes at Connections Deaf Centers.