Thanks, Julie! Great history lesson for us all. Big thing is, if you want to communicate (requires back and forth of some form of ‘speech’ (ASL being one and voice another) you must advocate for yourself.
Example: I have been, in a professional situation, teased and joked about by colleagues; struggled to hear my clients when in my quiet office, and avoided the phone at all costs. When I finally resorted to using the word little d deaf, I was ready to tear my hair out over the lack of respect and professional behavior in our clinic.
When I finally did say “I am deaf.” Boy! Did things begin to change. I called for ADA accommodations and they were provided. I “got by” before the accommodations appeared but after they did, I began to thrive. Sometimes it’s like Teddy Roosevelt said, “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” When I pulled out the stick, my colleagues got the message.