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A Small Gesture?

black and white portrait of a light skin woman with short dark hair wearing a busy pattern knitted sweater, sitting on chair with her elbows placed on wooden table in front of her texting on her phone. Biscuit placed on top of paper bag and cup beside it with writing Juniper Cafe. Behind her is cafe with mix of wood, metal and bricks
Photo Credit: Emily LaFleur-Brewster at Juniper Cafe

Couple days ago I posted about my experience at Metro, and it was shared widely. It reached out to this young woman’s mom to which she privately messaged me. Her daughter was happily surprised to see the impact of my experience. She told her mom…

“It was just a small gesture.”

But it wasn’t.

I want many of you to know.

It was grand in every way because for many like me, we always accommodate people. It is grounded in us, we courageously adapt throughout our lives. Or for some, have a triggered distaste for it.

We have learned to wear hearing devices even have invasion surgery to hear people, but could we all? We have taken hours and hours of speech training to speak at their level, but spoke perfectly? We have learned to lipread and that is no easy task, but when you lose more of your hearing or face someone with a mask, is that not more challenging? We have a natural visual language that should be parallel to our spoken official languages, but hasn’t yet?

No two Deaf people are the same, we have different hearing levels and abilities. But society looks at us to be fixed, when honestly should look within themselves and decide “why fixating on the norm”?

So when this young woman accommodated me by signing for me, it was a weight off my shoulders and I’m sure for many others who face her. In this case, it is not just about sign language or being deaf, it was more about her being inclusive.

Inclusive action shows kindness. It’s excerliating when one seeks positive connection rather than focusing on our differences.

One small difference between any of us is communication, not everything in life is based on our listening and speaking. There’s more to life than just that. Trust me, you’d be surprised.

We can strive for inclusion, myself included.

If you’re curious to learn more, reach out.