By Susan Beckett
“Deafness separates people from people” – comes from a quote by Helen Keller from a letter she wrote in 1910. This is true for many people today as it was back then. Up until a few years ago, I felt separated from people too. Deafness had changed me to my inner core. Joining ALDA was part of one of many steps I have taken on the journey to regain my life. While I was looking forward to joining the Niagara Falls ALDAcon; I was unable to attend for medical reasons. I wanted to share what I saw from the postings in the Facebook Group. I have found a group of people who are no longer separated; they are no longer alone.
Maybe it was the beauty in Niagara Falls that caused each of you to see the uniqueness in each other. People went to create networks, friendships and find people like me – who have hearing loss. What they found was much more – amazing friendly people whom they could feel close to, they have made contacts and created friendships, which will last a lifetime.
Niagara Falls and the cool fresh spray that bounces back created a special place to become that child once again and dance in the rain. It can be too easy to work too many hours and not take time to play. For example, are you that person who chooses to work overtime because it is much easier to hide behind the superwoman cape than it is to cut loose and dance? Well, at ALDAcon there was dancing, Karaoke and even Elvis made an appearance!
Maybe it was the power from Niagara Falls that inspired everyone to learn more and attend the workshops at ALDAcon. There is so much in life that I feel I have been reluctant to do or stopped doing because of my hearing loss. We can all use this newfound power we found in ourselves at home and demonstrate it in our lives moving forward.
Many people consider Niagara Falls to be the 8th wonder of the world; I want to further say I consider technology to be the 9th wonder. Deafness will no longer separate me from people; today with technology I can bridge that gap and move forward and enjoy life. So, remember the friendships, fun and inspiration, hold it tight and be ready to do it again and add at least one more person to your group because I will be seeing you next year in San Diego!
Susan Beckett is Susan Beckett, Vice Chair of the Nevada Commission for Persons Who are Deaf and hard of Hearing, works for the State of Nevada, is a freelance paralegal and in her spare time this past year fought breast cancer and is winning. She credits her positive attitude to her four adult daughters whom all reside in Las Vegas and get together often for girls’ nights.