I’m from Compton, California, and I wanted to share my story because I have a unique situation.
I’m a deaf black man, but I have the ability to talk.
I have a voice.
And I feel like that voice should be used to make change in our community.
I really feel that, you know, a lot of people don’t understand what it’s like to be a minority living with a disability.
And I think, you know, sharing my story would help bring more awareness about that, not only to the people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but people who are wheelchair, blind, other unseen disabilities.
You know, and I think my main goal is to let you know that I feel a lot of discrimination, a lot of things are not being inclusive, and that not being actively aware like we’re being hidden and I don’t want to hide anymore.
So you know, I want to make a big impact by letting people know that we deserve rights.
We deserve to be seen.
We deserve to share our story too, you know.
Growing up, I didn’t really have any role models or opportunities that allowed me to be included in the community.
But as I’ve gotten older and got more confident, I would be able to go out there and speak my mind about having being a part of the community fully, not just being on the sidelines.
So, you know, it hurts sometimes because, you know, really you don’t really want much just basic human rights, like everybody else.
You know, like we’re fortunate today Juneteenth celebration you know, there’s no sign language interpreters.
And I rehearsed or but like at the same time, even people are not aware that we need these services and stuff.
And so, you know, I just really want to make sure they know that we’re here for the community to be part of the community.
And, you know, that know with rules on A.D.A., with the politicians and government policy none of those things really matters unless we all come together in community as one.
And I’m just very fortunate to have that voice to be able to speak.
And I know that that voice is meant to be used to do something bigger.
And if sharing my story can make a difference, then, I think my job here is done.