Story by Tristan Kong
Growing up in a hearing world has made my life a journey, but I am so thankful to be here today.
I have been approached by many people over the years who have expressed that they have felt inspired by me.
'Inspiration' is one of the words I hear most often when meeting new people.
You might wonder what about me inspired them. The answer: I can neither speak, nor hear. I was born Deaf.
What I have done as a Deaf person?
The general world view is that being Deaf means being disabled. I do not view myself as disabled at all, though I face the challenges, barriers, or even discrimination that come with the title every day.
Overcoming these obstacles is what has made me who I am, and has given me this unique identity.
I am lucky to have such a beautiful language, American Sign Language, which gives me the opportunity to do anything that I want.
There is no barrier when communicating or interacting within the Deaf community. ASL has provided the opportunity to develop my social skills, leadership, and education. These were instrumental in helping me to adapt in the real world.
My language and identity as a Deaf person has led me to where I am in your hearing world.
To provide a bit of background on my life, I thought that since I am 25, I would make a list of 25 things that I have accomplished in my life:
There are too many ordinary people whose accomplishments go unrecognized. I know I am not the only one – my friends have accomplished many things in their lives too.
Media can tend to focus on negative stories, and overlook the accomplishments of ordinary people. Whether people want fifteen minutes of fame for their accomplishment or not, I believe that recognizing them is an important tool to empower, inspire and educate people.
This is why I have decided to start this new social media project called ‘Stir’.
Stir can tell positive stories about ordinary people’s accomplishments that will lead others to make a difference in their lives, or community too.
By challenging the media, we can change the stories from negative to positive.
Please share this inspiring story with your friends on Facebook!