Right, so up to the age of 12 I went to a hearing school. I grew up oral. When I was 12 I realised that I was keen to go to a Deaf school. So I told Mum that I wanted to go to a Deaf school. Mum wasn’t sure, she was worried that my speech would go downhill.
In the hearing school I was failing subjects, there were major communication breakdowns and it was frustrating so Mum said alright, and I was put into a Deaf school. Oh boy, that was a culture shock! Heck, it was real shock. There was sign language, voices were off, I was stunned. It felt like I was on a different planet.
It took me about two or three months to really learn sign language. Then I felt that that was what had been missing when I was growing up. Identity, culture, but more identity because in the hearing world being Deaf didn’t matter, there were no roots, so going to the Deaf school I discovered my roots over time, my heart filled up, ah, that’s my identity!! That’s Sarah, that’s who you should be!
I am thankful to the Deaf school, my friends and teachers who helped me to grow better as a Deaf person, to use my initiatve more, to be more motivated, to advance more. The hearing school, yes, the education was good but socially, mmm, me, I didn’t fit in. In the Deaf school there was so much more, my community, my people, my past, that’s my identity.
I’m really grateful that I found it at 12 and have been part of it since. Now things are great.