D6 and his twin brother were both born deaf. After discovering this, D6’s parents sought various cures for the deafness, though without success. D6 was then enrolled in a school for the deaf where his step-father taught, and he is currently in senior high school. Here he discusses his experiences growing up as a deaf person.
“[When] my parents realized that I could not hear they sent me to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment. This didn’t work so I was sent to the priest and was given some bitter drugs to drink. Yet, I could not hear so my parents sent me to the traditionalist. We did not get the desired result. My mother was very much worried so she tried all the means available to her.
“When I got admitted to Kibi school for the deaf, the feeling was good.[…] I did not know sign language but I often went around to socialize with my school mates and […] I was feeling very much excited because my father was always there to help me.
“After junior high school, I asked my mother to help me to secure a job with a construction company, but this did not work out because I was told that until I completed senior high school I could not be employed.”
“With all the support I have received, I feel very much satisfied. When I was in need of help, the family always there. Anything I need, I received. My mother was very much supportive. [However] I do not feel very much included because I am very young and I have to take care of my younger siblings so I have not been included that much in the affairs of the family.”
“My parents believed that I had a future so they always threw their support behind me. They never wanted to leave me because I am deaf. In the family, whether you are deaf or hearing you will be treated equally. But I and my twin brother received much attention because of our deafness.”
“When I was very young, my parents took very good care of me. They did a lot for me in the past, but presently they feel that I am an adolescent now and I can care for myself, so they do not offer the same treatment. The way deaf people are treated depends on their families. I think some of them who have a good family background are better treated than those from poor families. Other families left their deaf children.
“I think other disabled people are treated better than the deaf. The idea is that most people believe that deaf people can do anything; they have eyes, they can walk, they have hands and can do so the people do not see any problem in a deaf person. People feel that the condition of other disabled people is more dangerous so they pay more attention to them than to the deaf.”
“I wondered why I became deaf. I feel that I am saved because for some people if you are deaf, your family will not take good care of you because the idea is that if you are deaf you are useless. But I have come this far with the help of my parents and I am very much happy for this.
“I am in school now and this makes me proud. I never feel worried as a deaf person. I am very happy because I know that it was the purpose of God. I want to be successful in the future as a deaf person. I never want to regain my hearing ability because hearing comes with lots of negatives. For example, people insult you and you can hear them, which can easily make you angry; but in the deaf community things like this oftentimes have been taken as a joke. If I were hearing, a lot could have been said about me but as deaf person, I am free and cannot hear all these. Hearing people deceive, so I do not want to become like them. I am happy as deaf.”