Hello, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mike and I am Hearing Impaired, but my cultural Identity is Deaf. I would like to share with the community about various resources that are out there that many, many parents are not aware of. Some parents are making ill fated choices when it comes to knowledge and understanding of Deaf Culture and how to address issues like Cochlear Implants to Hearing Aids. From finding accessible technology like video phones to text pagers.
There is so much information out on the web that it is webcluttered and many people are not sure where to go. This is where I come in.
I was born hearing impaired and have attended public schools. Yes, I did indeed have my fair share of being bullied and picked on because of my deafness. Alas, I also had the opportunity to learn about my culture as of who I am as an individual and as a person.
I didn’t learn sign language until I was in 2nd grade. I finally embraced my heritage of Deafness when “Deaf President Now” opened the world’s eyes in 1988. I left public schools in NC and attended the only nationally recognized pre-college program in Washington, DC. MSSD or Model Secondary School for the Deaf, which is located on Gallaudet University’s campus.
Graduating high school, I attended Gallaudet University where I recieved my degree in Sociology in 1997. Upon completion of my degree I begun work in Deaf Education as a Residential Educator. Then in 1998 I begun the next phase of my career as an Deaf Educational Interpreter in public schools in my hometown in NC. Since 1998 I served in several public schools as an Educational Interpreter. I am also EIPA Certified to interpret in Public schools within NC and several states that require the license. My EIPA or Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment Level is 3.4.
I then worked for the state of North Carolina as a Telecommunication Specialist for the Division of Services of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) from 2004-2006.
Telecommunication Access NC
Telecommunication Relay Services of NC established a program where Deaf, Deaf-blind, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired have opportunities to apply for free equipment through the State. Each household can recieve one set of equipment up to 6 years of loaning time. Then each household have to re-apply for new equipment.
My Current Status
I am currently seeking new employment where my center focus is on communication access and Deaf Advocacy. I am currently working with a local non-profit in helping to establish a new Deaf Center within my hometown. I will do my best to update this article and other essential information as time goes on. Please be patient with me as it takes time to compile vast amounts of resources to make it availble for you. Thank you for your time in reading this early bio about who I am. I hope I will develop a more broad network of friends and professionals.