She’s 83 years old now and has been deaf since she was 4. At that time, back in 1937, she had come down with a terrible case of scarlet fever. No one knew that the intense heat of the fever had destroyed the nerve endings in her ears. It wasn’t until a teacher accused her of ignoring her lessons that people realized, Carole was deaf.
Her granddaughter has ever been amazed by “Mammaw.” She doesn’t know how to use sign language and never even saw a need to learn. She taught herself to read lips as a child and has managed just fine ever since. When questioned, she will tell you that her inability to hear is nothing more than, “A minor inconvenience.”
She will continue her discourse by informing you that she graduated high school, “regular high school, mind you,” and went on to attend secretarial school. She’ll remind you that she retired from the Dade County School District after 26 years. Then, if you’re lucky, she will sit down at the piano and play you a hymn, or tell you to pull up a chair so she can teach you how to crochet.
Indeed, the loss of hearing, for Carole, has been a minor inconvenience. Unfortunately, this is not how every person with a disability feels. But, there are places that provide help in those circumstances.
Options to Limit the Inconvenience
When being deaf, or disabled in some other way, becomes more than an inconvenience there are entities designed to assist in alleviating your needs. And there are lawyers, like Martin Chitwood, ready to come to your aid.
Deaf individuals can find some respite and assistance through the Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). This non-profit organization got its start in 1975 and has been helping deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing individuals for 40 years. They are run by people who have experienced the same struggles and their goal is to enable these individuals to fully contribute to, and actively participate in, their spheres of influence. More information about this incredible organization can be found by clicking here.
For our blind friends there is the American Foundation for the Blind. The doors of this phenomenal organization opened in 1921. They have been advocates and helpmates for more than 20 million Americans who have experienced vision loss to some degree. New technologies are at their fingertips and they will lead the way to a better future for their beneficiaries. They embrace their ambassador, Helen Keller’s, dream for access and equality. More info about their organization can be found here.
There are Options
Living with a disability doesn’t have to mean limited life satisfaction. In fact, Carole’s youngest grandchild, John, is disabled too. He suffered severe burns in a car accident at the age of 19. He lost part of his left arm at that time, as well as his ears and a section of his nose. His burns left him in a disfigured and amputee state. Many people would have given up.
Yet, he has gone on to be an active and beneficial member of society, driving a car, fishing, playing video games, owning his own home and raising his daughter on his own. Sometimes it is the sheer will of the human spirit that can turn a disability into a minor inconvenience. There are organizations willing to help you embrace that strength if you will let them.…