I was born in Melbourne, Florida–I was born deaf due to Rubella. My mom, dad, uncle, and I are the only deaf members in my family. The rest of my family are hearing. I have a half-brother who is hearing and he is living in New York. I am living in Florida. Some family members know sign, some don’t. In my family, we use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. I use two hearing aids. I can speak okay, but I don’t really like to use my voice. ASL is my preferred and most comfortable language to communicate.
My mom was born deaf because of Rubella, too. My grandmother got German measles while she was pregnant with my mom. My dad was born hearing and got pneumonia when he was four years old and fell into a coma for five years and lost his hearing completely.
When my parents found out that I am deaf, they were thrilled. They don’t care if I am deaf, all they care that I am born healthy. They felt happy that we can communicate with ASL. They felt happy that I am part of deaf culture. Deaf culture is different from hearing culture. My mom will feel different if I was hearing. If your child is deaf, don’t get scared or worried or get heart broken. I am happy with my life. I never wish I was born hearing, to be honest.
We moved to Saint Augustine, Florida when I was two so I could attend the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB). I attended FSDB from pre-k to senior. I joined Junior National Associate for the Deaf (Jr. NAD) for three years during high school years. Jr. NAD helps students to learn leadership skills. It is fun. I love math and science because it is fun. Reading/writing is my least favorite subject because it is not very fun for me depending on the topic/subject. I love to learn. I had direct instruction, teachers that uses ASL and not using interpreter. Also during three years in high school I worked at D&B Designs at FSDB. People could order shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, decals, etc. with a design they want. I created the designs and the products.
I am currently in my third year of college, majoring in Mobile Application Development at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). At first, I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals, but I don’t like blood and needles. I became unsure about a major until I went to Explore Your Future (EYF) summer camp at RIT during high school. I was introduced to the Mobile Application Development program and I became fascinated.
I am a photographer –I currently do this as a hobby. In eighth grade, I took a photography class. That is where I found my passion in photography. After college, I want to travel and take pictures of animals/nature. I want to start my own business where I can sell my pictures. (Pictures in Pictures folder. One more picture will added later in July.)
My family is proud of me that I graduated as valedictorian in high school. They are also proud that I am in college. I’m thriving in college as a third-year student. I look forward to graduating!
Christine is and RIT NTID student serving as an intern at Hands & Voices. She is part of a student team developing a Parent Support app for Hands & Voices.