full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Nyle DiMarco: Why we need to make education more accessible to the deaf

Unscramble the Blue Letters

I'd like to tell you a story. When I was 24, I found myself living in a small beach town by the name of nalpes, frloida. I was looking for something new. I was 24. I'm 29 now. And in that small coastal town, I was the only Deaf resident. In fact, the closest deaf person was a few hours away by car. And all of the friends and aqnaaueticncs that I had made could hear. I didn't mind though; I wanted something new. Lucky for me, Naples, Florida is home to some of the U.S. Olympics volleyball team, where they reside and train through the year. So I had a fantastic opportunity to play with them every day I could. And we'd hit the court all the time, either indoors or out at the beach; it was great. Lucky for them, I happen to be very good at volleyball. So one nhigt after a great game, a friend and I pull up some cairhs by the wtaer to wcath the sun go down and chat. And he looks over at me and he asks me a question that comtlelepy blew me away. To be honest, in 24 years of my life, nobody had ever asked me. And his qeiotusn was simple: "Have you ever wished you could hear?" I looked at him for a second and thought, Where did that come from? Then I took a moment and I realized while we had been sitting there, I could see waves coming in and crashing on the beach. He could hear that. Obviously, I couldn't. My entire world is completely slient. To our left, people had taken over the corut and were playing volleyball, cheering each other on. To our right, a mother was pyainlg and laughing with her baby. And behind us, cars and ATVs had passed by all day without me even nctoniig. So, I was qcuik to answer: "No, of course not. I've never wheisd I could hear. I've never wished that because I love who I am." And you may be wnerindog, How do I love myself as a Deaf man? Well, first, I was born deaf. My dfeesans shaped my childhood, and it's all I've ever known. So my pipecsertve on life and my eieenrcxpe of the world is very different. My outlook and my life has involved experiences that many of you have never had to encounter as hearing people. My culture, something I edbmoy and chsreih, has always been Deaf. My perspective on life is completely different. The experiences I've had, something I hold most dear, have taught me to love myself as a Deaf man. To illustrate that ponit, if I were to walk into a job interview with a pneal of hearing peers, and if I were to approach that mienetg wishing that I could hear, wsnihig that I could speak like them, and fiunsocg on that imbalance, do you think that I would do very well? Obviously not, right? Because in the back of my mind I'm focusing on the negative, therefore creating a nteigave outcome, and I'm certain I wouldn't get that job. But, if instead, I use my difference as an avntagdae and an asset, I know that as a Deaf man I have so much to offer their company. My experiences growing up are much different from theirs. And knowing that allows me to approach the interview positive. I can go into that meeting and confidently tell them how they will bienfet from hiring a Deaf man for a multitude of reasons. And I can walk out with that job because it's all about mindset. So I say first and feosormt to love yourself. So as I mentioned, the first rsoaen I love myself is my upbringing. But many of you may not know that I come from a rather large fimlay. I have two brothers who are also Deaf along with my parents, my grandparents, and yes, even my great-grandparents as well. I'm the fourth generation in a beautiful family with over 25 Deaf memrebs. Born to Deaf parents who udoteornsd the Deaf experience, they knew exactly how to riase me. They knew how to provide me with the best opportunities and to spuropt me. From day one of my ecenitsxe, my parents gave me language, access to education, and love. Growing up, my life was perfect. Imagine, like many of you born to hearing parents, I never noticed barriers that simply weren't there. I'm sure many of you felt your life was normal, the same way that I did. Coming from a Deaf family, my world, in every way, was a utopia. When it came time for my parents to enroll me in school, they already knew that I would go to the Deaf school. I would learn in an environment that was designed for me. At that time, all of my peers, and teachers, and even the superintendent was Deaf. So, I was still in my pecreft world. I was in an environment where I could grow and where I could thrive. And I had no problems; it was perfect for me. And many people don't believe that, but it's true. For me, the Deaf cinumomty, our world, was the perfect world for me. And I remember in the summer before fifth grade, I was ready to go back to school, and I asked my mom to go to a public school. She thought I was crazy. She said, "What?! No! Public school, it's all hearing kids. The Deaf school is a perfect fit." And I said, "No, I want to learn what those students are learning. I want to see what their cmsrsoloas are like. What are public scohol teachers like?" So upon my insistence she enrolled me. And after two weeks of frustration, I came home pleading to go back to the Deaf school. She listened very sympathetically and told me, "Nope, too bad." I was floored. She told me I needed to sitck it out for a year because I ndeeed to learn how to interact with my hearing peers, and that if I gave it a little patience, I would laren so much about the world around me. Because the reality is the world is hearing. I was the only Deaf kid in the entire school. Of course, I always had hearing friends, but they could sign like me. So that year I ganied a lot of insight. I couldn't be involved in any of the school organizations. My friends never learned enough sign to cnciutommae. And every time I tried to play a soprt, I'd get benched. The basketball coach told me a Deaf kid could never help the team win a game. And I was athletic. So after a year, I went back to the Deaf school where I realized that's my home. That's my community. And my community is where I can thrive. I got involved in the classroom again, joined a bunch of school organizations, and got back on the basketball team, where I heepld win many geams. So it's without hesitation that I can say the Deaf community is in fact my home. After graduating high school, I was accepted into the only Deaf university in the world: Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. It was there I gained my derege in mathematics with the ieinotntn of becoming a better teacher than the ones I had growing up. Like many of you, I sat through some math teachers who seriously sucked. (Laughter) I wanted to be a good math teacher. But I also wanted to be a good role model for those sudttnes. So as time got closer to gurtaidoan, of course I was nervous. I started questioning if I had made the right decision. And I decided to get out - to get out of my comfort zone and to travel the world. Since then, I've been to over 43 countries. And the funny thing about when I travel is that I'm constantly meeting hearing people who say, "Nyle, you are so brave. How do you teravl like this? Isn't it hard to be Deaf and travel? It looks impossible." And let me tell you, traveling as a Deaf person, I think, is actually much easier than traveling for hanrieg people. Because sign language is something that gives me access to a much larger world. I'll tell you one of my favorite stories. A few years ago, I was in south Sicily peiurnsg a flea market, when I walked into a butcher shop, and snitandg there is an American tourist trying to ask the becthur where the meat he was slnciig is sourced from. So the Sicilian man, speaking no English, is gesturing, right? And you know Italians gesture. He's trying to explain where the meat comes from, and it's going right over the head of the tourist. So wtcanihg this very comical bwoarkedn in conversation, I'm understanding everything perfectly, so I pull out a paper and a pen, and I translate what the butcher is saying, and I hand it over to the tiuosrt and explain, "This is what he's trying to tell you." So there I am, the Deaf person translating for two hearing people. And in that situation, they're the ones disabled, not me. (Laughter) While that sroty is ironic, it happens so many times when I meet people in other countries. I'm always azamed to meet locals in other countries, and their ability to gesticulate and communicate with me, often quite easily. And I would always tell myself to visit the local Deaf schools and to make time to meet Deaf locals. But with every new Deaf school that I saw, I was sad to see that their schools were in terrible condition, and their education was greatly lacking. Often, I just couldn't believe my eyes. When I would meet Deaf adults, I realized a comomn thread very qiculky. They either didn't have the same level of education I did or their language was incomplete, making it hard to communicate. They'd often complain to me that the system had failed them, and now they struggled to find work. And I kept asking myself, why is this happening, and why is this happening so often? Why am I somehow more fortunate? Growing up, I thought every deaf prsoen in the world was like me and had the same opportunities that I did. So in returning to the United saetts, I decided to do some research on the topic. And what I found shocked me. There are currently more than 70 million deaf people in the world with only two percent of them having access to education in sign languages. Which means millions upon millions of deaf children not receiving the education they need, also known as education deprivation. I also learned that over 75 pernect of hearing parents don't sign to communicate with their deaf children. Which is astonishing. Again, igianme mliniols and millions of deaf children without an education, without a language. Those children without language and access to education eihibxt signs of brain damage. In my research, I also found that I'm a part of an even smaller gurop. Ten percent of Deaf cielrdhn come from Deaf parents like mine. Only 10 percent. I'm incredibly lucky. I had access to language, an etoduaicn, and I had ptrenas who loved me and put me on a path to success. I wouldn't be who I am today without any of those things. So it was clear to me that something needed to be done. I got to work in steitng up my own foundation - the Nyle dmciaro fdtooniuan - with the goal of improving the lives of millions of deaf people around the wolrd. We've since partnered with another Deaf organization in the ueitnd States to icuotdnre legislation - a bill that reeriqus all deaf children have access to language between the ages of zero and five, setting up benchmarks for their success. Because before the age of five, children have the ability to acquire a foundation in luaangge, readying them for the classroom and for a successful life. After the age of five, that critical language acquisition wdnoiw closes. I'm wnoirkg to give every deaf clihd in the world a future filled with a rich language and the opportunities I was lucky enough to receive. But the Deaf community cannot do it alone; we need you to become our allies and join us in making the world more knowledgeable. We need you to join us, to fihgt with us and for us in the ongoing battle of affording children what they need to thrive. So before I go, I want to teach you two very simple but important signs. The first is "love." The second, "yourself." foollw me: Love yourself. Brilliant! A-plusses all around! Thank you. (Laughter)

Open Cloze

I'd like to tell you a story. When I was 24, I found myself living in a small beach town by the name of ______, _______. I was looking for something new. I was 24. I'm 29 now. And in that small coastal town, I was the only Deaf resident. In fact, the closest deaf person was a few hours away by car. And all of the friends and _____________ that I had made could hear. I didn't mind though; I wanted something new. Lucky for me, Naples, Florida is home to some of the U.S. Olympics volleyball team, where they reside and train through the year. So I had a fantastic opportunity to play with them every day I could. And we'd hit the court all the time, either indoors or out at the beach; it was great. Lucky for them, I happen to be very good at volleyball. So one _____ after a great game, a friend and I pull up some ______ by the _____ to _____ the sun go down and chat. And he looks over at me and he asks me a question that __________ blew me away. To be honest, in 24 years of my life, nobody had ever asked me. And his ________ was simple: "Have you ever wished you could hear?" I looked at him for a second and thought, Where did that come from? Then I took a moment and I realized while we had been sitting there, I could see waves coming in and crashing on the beach. He could hear that. Obviously, I couldn't. My entire world is completely ______. To our left, people had taken over the _____ and were playing volleyball, cheering each other on. To our right, a mother was _______ and laughing with her baby. And behind us, cars and ATVs had passed by all day without me even ________. So, I was _____ to answer: "No, of course not. I've never ______ I could hear. I've never wished that because I love who I am." And you may be _________, How do I love myself as a Deaf man? Well, first, I was born deaf. My ________ shaped my childhood, and it's all I've ever known. So my ___________ on life and my __________ of the world is very different. My outlook and my life has involved experiences that many of you have never had to encounter as hearing people. My culture, something I ______ and _______, has always been Deaf. My perspective on life is completely different. The experiences I've had, something I hold most dear, have taught me to love myself as a Deaf man. To illustrate that _____, if I were to walk into a job interview with a _____ of hearing peers, and if I were to approach that _______ wishing that I could hear, _______ that I could speak like them, and ________ on that imbalance, do you think that I would do very well? Obviously not, right? Because in the back of my mind I'm focusing on the negative, therefore creating a ________ outcome, and I'm certain I wouldn't get that job. But, if instead, I use my difference as an _________ and an asset, I know that as a Deaf man I have so much to offer their company. My experiences growing up are much different from theirs. And knowing that allows me to approach the interview positive. I can go into that meeting and confidently tell them how they will _______ from hiring a Deaf man for a multitude of reasons. And I can walk out with that job because it's all about mindset. So I say first and ________ to love yourself. So as I mentioned, the first ______ I love myself is my upbringing. But many of you may not know that I come from a rather large ______. I have two brothers who are also Deaf along with my parents, my grandparents, and yes, even my great-grandparents as well. I'm the fourth generation in a beautiful family with over 25 Deaf _______. Born to Deaf parents who __________ the Deaf experience, they knew exactly how to _____ me. They knew how to provide me with the best opportunities and to _______ me. From day one of my _________, my parents gave me language, access to education, and love. Growing up, my life was perfect. Imagine, like many of you born to hearing parents, I never noticed barriers that simply weren't there. I'm sure many of you felt your life was normal, the same way that I did. Coming from a Deaf family, my world, in every way, was a utopia. When it came time for my parents to enroll me in school, they already knew that I would go to the Deaf school. I would learn in an environment that was designed for me. At that time, all of my peers, and teachers, and even the superintendent was Deaf. So, I was still in my _______ world. I was in an environment where I could grow and where I could thrive. And I had no problems; it was perfect for me. And many people don't believe that, but it's true. For me, the Deaf _________, our world, was the perfect world for me. And I remember in the summer before fifth grade, I was ready to go back to school, and I asked my mom to go to a public school. She thought I was crazy. She said, "What?! No! Public school, it's all hearing kids. The Deaf school is a perfect fit." And I said, "No, I want to learn what those students are learning. I want to see what their __________ are like. What are public ______ teachers like?" So upon my insistence she enrolled me. And after two weeks of frustration, I came home pleading to go back to the Deaf school. She listened very sympathetically and told me, "Nope, too bad." I was floored. She told me I needed to _____ it out for a year because I ______ to learn how to interact with my hearing peers, and that if I gave it a little patience, I would _____ so much about the world around me. Because the reality is the world is hearing. I was the only Deaf kid in the entire school. Of course, I always had hearing friends, but they could sign like me. So that year I ______ a lot of insight. I couldn't be involved in any of the school organizations. My friends never learned enough sign to ___________. And every time I tried to play a _____, I'd get benched. The basketball coach told me a Deaf kid could never help the team win a game. And I was athletic. So after a year, I went back to the Deaf school where I realized that's my home. That's my community. And my community is where I can thrive. I got involved in the classroom again, joined a bunch of school organizations, and got back on the basketball team, where I ______ win many _____. So it's without hesitation that I can say the Deaf community is in fact my home. After graduating high school, I was accepted into the only Deaf university in the world: Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. It was there I gained my ______ in mathematics with the _________ of becoming a better teacher than the ones I had growing up. Like many of you, I sat through some math teachers who seriously sucked. (Laughter) I wanted to be a good math teacher. But I also wanted to be a good role model for those ________. So as time got closer to __________, of course I was nervous. I started questioning if I had made the right decision. And I decided to get out - to get out of my comfort zone and to travel the world. Since then, I've been to over 43 countries. And the funny thing about when I travel is that I'm constantly meeting hearing people who say, "Nyle, you are so brave. How do you ______ like this? Isn't it hard to be Deaf and travel? It looks impossible." And let me tell you, traveling as a Deaf person, I think, is actually much easier than traveling for _______ people. Because sign language is something that gives me access to a much larger world. I'll tell you one of my favorite stories. A few years ago, I was in south Sicily ________ a flea market, when I walked into a butcher shop, and ________ there is an American tourist trying to ask the _______ where the meat he was _______ is sourced from. So the Sicilian man, speaking no English, is gesturing, right? And you know Italians gesture. He's trying to explain where the meat comes from, and it's going right over the head of the tourist. So ________ this very comical _________ in conversation, I'm understanding everything perfectly, so I pull out a paper and a pen, and I translate what the butcher is saying, and I hand it over to the _______ and explain, "This is what he's trying to tell you." So there I am, the Deaf person translating for two hearing people. And in that situation, they're the ones disabled, not me. (Laughter) While that _____ is ironic, it happens so many times when I meet people in other countries. I'm always ______ to meet locals in other countries, and their ability to gesticulate and communicate with me, often quite easily. And I would always tell myself to visit the local Deaf schools and to make time to meet Deaf locals. But with every new Deaf school that I saw, I was sad to see that their schools were in terrible condition, and their education was greatly lacking. Often, I just couldn't believe my eyes. When I would meet Deaf adults, I realized a ______ thread very _______. They either didn't have the same level of education I did or their language was incomplete, making it hard to communicate. They'd often complain to me that the system had failed them, and now they struggled to find work. And I kept asking myself, why is this happening, and why is this happening so often? Why am I somehow more fortunate? Growing up, I thought every deaf ______ in the world was like me and had the same opportunities that I did. So in returning to the United ______, I decided to do some research on the topic. And what I found shocked me. There are currently more than 70 million deaf people in the world with only two percent of them having access to education in sign languages. Which means millions upon millions of deaf children not receiving the education they need, also known as education deprivation. I also learned that over 75 _______ of hearing parents don't sign to communicate with their deaf children. Which is astonishing. Again, _______ ________ and millions of deaf children without an education, without a language. Those children without language and access to education _______ signs of brain damage. In my research, I also found that I'm a part of an even smaller _____. Ten percent of Deaf ________ come from Deaf parents like mine. Only 10 percent. I'm incredibly lucky. I had access to language, an _________, and I had _______ who loved me and put me on a path to success. I wouldn't be who I am today without any of those things. So it was clear to me that something needed to be done. I got to work in _______ up my own foundation - the Nyle _______ __________ - with the goal of improving the lives of millions of deaf people around the _____. We've since partnered with another Deaf organization in the ______ States to _________ legislation - a bill that ________ all deaf children have access to language between the ages of zero and five, setting up benchmarks for their success. Because before the age of five, children have the ability to acquire a foundation in ________, readying them for the classroom and for a successful life. After the age of five, that critical language acquisition ______ closes. I'm _______ to give every deaf _____ in the world a future filled with a rich language and the opportunities I was lucky enough to receive. But the Deaf community cannot do it alone; we need you to become our allies and join us in making the world more knowledgeable. We need you to join us, to _____ with us and for us in the ongoing battle of affording children what they need to thrive. So before I go, I want to teach you two very simple but important signs. The first is "love." The second, "yourself." ______ me: Love yourself. Brilliant! A-plusses all around! Thank you. (Laughter)

Solution

  1. perfect
  2. meeting
  3. noticing
  4. person
  5. focusing
  6. night
  7. percent
  8. story
  9. children
  10. embody
  11. community
  12. parents
  13. education
  14. watch
  15. tourist
  16. slicing
  17. perusing
  18. family
  19. members
  20. experience
  21. quick
  22. foremost
  23. travel
  24. needed
  25. follow
  26. wished
  27. foundation
  28. classrooms
  29. amazed
  30. wondering
  31. acquaintances
  32. imagine
  33. school
  34. sport
  35. advantage
  36. breakdown
  37. working
  38. gained
  39. common
  40. perspective
  41. students
  42. graduation
  43. quickly
  44. cherish
  45. introduce
  46. learn
  47. negative
  48. naples
  49. group
  50. raise
  51. united
  52. millions
  53. silent
  54. exhibit
  55. setting
  56. stick
  57. deafness
  58. reason
  59. watching
  60. completely
  61. panel
  62. chairs
  63. window
  64. requires
  65. communicate
  66. playing
  67. degree
  68. intention
  69. world
  70. games
  71. helped
  72. water
  73. fight
  74. states
  75. hearing
  76. standing
  77. benefit
  78. understood
  79. support
  80. court
  81. florida
  82. child
  83. dimarco
  84. language
  85. wishing
  86. point
  87. question
  88. existence
  89. butcher

Original Text

I'd like to tell you a story. When I was 24, I found myself living in a small beach town by the name of Naples, Florida. I was looking for something new. I was 24. I'm 29 now. And in that small coastal town, I was the only Deaf resident. In fact, the closest deaf person was a few hours away by car. And all of the friends and acquaintances that I had made could hear. I didn't mind though; I wanted something new. Lucky for me, Naples, Florida is home to some of the U.S. Olympics volleyball team, where they reside and train through the year. So I had a fantastic opportunity to play with them every day I could. And we'd hit the court all the time, either indoors or out at the beach; it was great. Lucky for them, I happen to be very good at volleyball. So one night after a great game, a friend and I pull up some chairs by the water to watch the sun go down and chat. And he looks over at me and he asks me a question that completely blew me away. To be honest, in 24 years of my life, nobody had ever asked me. And his question was simple: "Have you ever wished you could hear?" I looked at him for a second and thought, Where did that come from? Then I took a moment and I realized while we had been sitting there, I could see waves coming in and crashing on the beach. He could hear that. Obviously, I couldn't. My entire world is completely silent. To our left, people had taken over the court and were playing volleyball, cheering each other on. To our right, a mother was playing and laughing with her baby. And behind us, cars and ATVs had passed by all day without me even noticing. So, I was quick to answer: "No, of course not. I've never wished I could hear. I've never wished that because I love who I am." And you may be wondering, How do I love myself as a Deaf man? Well, first, I was born deaf. My deafness shaped my childhood, and it's all I've ever known. So my perspective on life and my experience of the world is very different. My outlook and my life has involved experiences that many of you have never had to encounter as hearing people. My culture, something I embody and cherish, has always been Deaf. My perspective on life is completely different. The experiences I've had, something I hold most dear, have taught me to love myself as a Deaf man. To illustrate that point, if I were to walk into a job interview with a panel of hearing peers, and if I were to approach that meeting wishing that I could hear, wishing that I could speak like them, and focusing on that imbalance, do you think that I would do very well? Obviously not, right? Because in the back of my mind I'm focusing on the negative, therefore creating a negative outcome, and I'm certain I wouldn't get that job. But, if instead, I use my difference as an advantage and an asset, I know that as a Deaf man I have so much to offer their company. My experiences growing up are much different from theirs. And knowing that allows me to approach the interview positive. I can go into that meeting and confidently tell them how they will benefit from hiring a Deaf man for a multitude of reasons. And I can walk out with that job because it's all about mindset. So I say first and foremost to love yourself. So as I mentioned, the first reason I love myself is my upbringing. But many of you may not know that I come from a rather large family. I have two brothers who are also Deaf along with my parents, my grandparents, and yes, even my great-grandparents as well. I'm the fourth generation in a beautiful family with over 25 Deaf members. Born to Deaf parents who understood the Deaf experience, they knew exactly how to raise me. They knew how to provide me with the best opportunities and to support me. From day one of my existence, my parents gave me language, access to education, and love. Growing up, my life was perfect. Imagine, like many of you born to hearing parents, I never noticed barriers that simply weren't there. I'm sure many of you felt your life was normal, the same way that I did. Coming from a Deaf family, my world, in every way, was a utopia. When it came time for my parents to enroll me in school, they already knew that I would go to the Deaf school. I would learn in an environment that was designed for me. At that time, all of my peers, and teachers, and even the superintendent was Deaf. So, I was still in my perfect world. I was in an environment where I could grow and where I could thrive. And I had no problems; it was perfect for me. And many people don't believe that, but it's true. For me, the Deaf community, our world, was the perfect world for me. And I remember in the summer before fifth grade, I was ready to go back to school, and I asked my mom to go to a public school. She thought I was crazy. She said, "What?! No! Public school, it's all hearing kids. The Deaf school is a perfect fit." And I said, "No, I want to learn what those students are learning. I want to see what their classrooms are like. What are public school teachers like?" So upon my insistence she enrolled me. And after two weeks of frustration, I came home pleading to go back to the Deaf school. She listened very sympathetically and told me, "Nope, too bad." I was floored. She told me I needed to stick it out for a year because I needed to learn how to interact with my hearing peers, and that if I gave it a little patience, I would learn so much about the world around me. Because the reality is the world is hearing. I was the only Deaf kid in the entire school. Of course, I always had hearing friends, but they could sign like me. So that year I gained a lot of insight. I couldn't be involved in any of the school organizations. My friends never learned enough sign to communicate. And every time I tried to play a sport, I'd get benched. The basketball coach told me a Deaf kid could never help the team win a game. And I was athletic. So after a year, I went back to the Deaf school where I realized that's my home. That's my community. And my community is where I can thrive. I got involved in the classroom again, joined a bunch of school organizations, and got back on the basketball team, where I helped win many games. So it's without hesitation that I can say the Deaf community is in fact my home. After graduating high school, I was accepted into the only Deaf university in the world: Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. It was there I gained my degree in mathematics with the intention of becoming a better teacher than the ones I had growing up. Like many of you, I sat through some math teachers who seriously sucked. (Laughter) I wanted to be a good math teacher. But I also wanted to be a good role model for those students. So as time got closer to graduation, of course I was nervous. I started questioning if I had made the right decision. And I decided to get out - to get out of my comfort zone and to travel the world. Since then, I've been to over 43 countries. And the funny thing about when I travel is that I'm constantly meeting hearing people who say, "Nyle, you are so brave. How do you travel like this? Isn't it hard to be Deaf and travel? It looks impossible." And let me tell you, traveling as a Deaf person, I think, is actually much easier than traveling for hearing people. Because sign language is something that gives me access to a much larger world. I'll tell you one of my favorite stories. A few years ago, I was in south Sicily perusing a flea market, when I walked into a butcher shop, and standing there is an American tourist trying to ask the butcher where the meat he was slicing is sourced from. So the Sicilian man, speaking no English, is gesturing, right? And you know Italians gesture. He's trying to explain where the meat comes from, and it's going right over the head of the tourist. So watching this very comical breakdown in conversation, I'm understanding everything perfectly, so I pull out a paper and a pen, and I translate what the butcher is saying, and I hand it over to the tourist and explain, "This is what he's trying to tell you." So there I am, the Deaf person translating for two hearing people. And in that situation, they're the ones disabled, not me. (Laughter) While that story is ironic, it happens so many times when I meet people in other countries. I'm always amazed to meet locals in other countries, and their ability to gesticulate and communicate with me, often quite easily. And I would always tell myself to visit the local Deaf schools and to make time to meet Deaf locals. But with every new Deaf school that I saw, I was sad to see that their schools were in terrible condition, and their education was greatly lacking. Often, I just couldn't believe my eyes. When I would meet Deaf adults, I realized a common thread very quickly. They either didn't have the same level of education I did or their language was incomplete, making it hard to communicate. They'd often complain to me that the system had failed them, and now they struggled to find work. And I kept asking myself, why is this happening, and why is this happening so often? Why am I somehow more fortunate? Growing up, I thought every deaf person in the world was like me and had the same opportunities that I did. So in returning to the United States, I decided to do some research on the topic. And what I found shocked me. There are currently more than 70 million deaf people in the world with only two percent of them having access to education in sign languages. Which means millions upon millions of deaf children not receiving the education they need, also known as education deprivation. I also learned that over 75 percent of hearing parents don't sign to communicate with their deaf children. Which is astonishing. Again, imagine millions and millions of deaf children without an education, without a language. Those children without language and access to education exhibit signs of brain damage. In my research, I also found that I'm a part of an even smaller group. Ten percent of Deaf children come from Deaf parents like mine. Only 10 percent. I'm incredibly lucky. I had access to language, an education, and I had parents who loved me and put me on a path to success. I wouldn't be who I am today without any of those things. So it was clear to me that something needed to be done. I got to work in setting up my own foundation - the Nyle DiMarco Foundation - with the goal of improving the lives of millions of deaf people around the world. We've since partnered with another Deaf organization in the United States to introduce legislation - a bill that requires all deaf children have access to language between the ages of zero and five, setting up benchmarks for their success. Because before the age of five, children have the ability to acquire a foundation in language, readying them for the classroom and for a successful life. After the age of five, that critical language acquisition window closes. I'm working to give every deaf child in the world a future filled with a rich language and the opportunities I was lucky enough to receive. But the Deaf community cannot do it alone; we need you to become our allies and join us in making the world more knowledgeable. We need you to join us, to fight with us and for us in the ongoing battle of affording children what they need to thrive. So before I go, I want to teach you two very simple but important signs. The first is "love." The second, "yourself." Follow me: Love yourself. Brilliant! A-plusses all around! Thank you. (Laughter)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
deaf school 5
deaf children 5
hearing people 4
deaf person 3
deaf man 3
deaf parents 2
perfect world 2
public school 2
deaf kid 2
deaf community 2
meet deaf 2
deaf people 2

Important Words

  1. ability
  2. accepted
  3. access
  4. acquaintances
  5. acquire
  6. acquisition
  7. adults
  8. advantage
  9. affording
  10. age
  11. ages
  12. allies
  13. amazed
  14. american
  15. approach
  16. asked
  17. asks
  18. asset
  19. astonishing
  20. athletic
  21. atvs
  22. baby
  23. bad
  24. barriers
  25. basketball
  26. battle
  27. beach
  28. beautiful
  29. benched
  30. benchmarks
  31. benefit
  32. bill
  33. blew
  34. born
  35. brain
  36. brave
  37. breakdown
  38. brothers
  39. bunch
  40. butcher
  41. car
  42. cars
  43. chairs
  44. chat
  45. cheering
  46. cherish
  47. child
  48. childhood
  49. children
  50. classroom
  51. classrooms
  52. clear
  53. closer
  54. closes
  55. closest
  56. coach
  57. coastal
  58. comfort
  59. comical
  60. coming
  61. common
  62. communicate
  63. community
  64. company
  65. complain
  66. completely
  67. condition
  68. confidently
  69. constantly
  70. conversation
  71. countries
  72. court
  73. crashing
  74. crazy
  75. creating
  76. critical
  77. culture
  78. damage
  79. day
  80. deaf
  81. deafness
  82. dear
  83. decided
  84. decision
  85. degree
  86. deprivation
  87. designed
  88. difference
  89. dimarco
  90. disabled
  91. easier
  92. easily
  93. education
  94. embody
  95. encounter
  96. english
  97. enroll
  98. enrolled
  99. entire
  100. environment
  101. exhibit
  102. existence
  103. experience
  104. experiences
  105. explain
  106. eyes
  107. fact
  108. failed
  109. family
  110. fantastic
  111. favorite
  112. felt
  113. fight
  114. filled
  115. find
  116. fit
  117. flea
  118. floored
  119. florida
  120. focusing
  121. follow
  122. foremost
  123. fortunate
  124. foundation
  125. fourth
  126. friend
  127. friends
  128. frustration
  129. funny
  130. future
  131. gained
  132. gallaudet
  133. game
  134. games
  135. gave
  136. generation
  137. gesticulate
  138. gesture
  139. gesturing
  140. give
  141. goal
  142. good
  143. grade
  144. graduating
  145. graduation
  146. grandparents
  147. great
  148. greatly
  149. group
  150. grow
  151. growing
  152. hand
  153. happen
  154. happening
  155. hard
  156. head
  157. hear
  158. hearing
  159. helped
  160. hesitation
  161. high
  162. hiring
  163. hit
  164. hold
  165. home
  166. honest
  167. hours
  168. illustrate
  169. imagine
  170. imbalance
  171. important
  172. impossible
  173. improving
  174. incomplete
  175. incredibly
  176. indoors
  177. insight
  178. insistence
  179. intention
  180. interact
  181. interview
  182. introduce
  183. involved
  184. ironic
  185. italians
  186. job
  187. join
  188. joined
  189. kid
  190. kids
  191. knew
  192. knowing
  193. knowledgeable
  194. lacking
  195. language
  196. languages
  197. large
  198. larger
  199. laughing
  200. laughter
  201. learn
  202. learned
  203. learning
  204. left
  205. legislation
  206. level
  207. life
  208. listened
  209. lives
  210. living
  211. local
  212. locals
  213. looked
  214. lot
  215. love
  216. loved
  217. lucky
  218. making
  219. man
  220. market
  221. math
  222. mathematics
  223. means
  224. meat
  225. meet
  226. meeting
  227. members
  228. mentioned
  229. million
  230. millions
  231. mind
  232. mindset
  233. model
  234. mom
  235. moment
  236. mother
  237. multitude
  238. naples
  239. needed
  240. negative
  241. nervous
  242. night
  243. normal
  244. noticed
  245. noticing
  246. nyle
  247. offer
  248. olympics
  249. ongoing
  250. opportunities
  251. opportunity
  252. organization
  253. organizations
  254. outcome
  255. outlook
  256. panel
  257. paper
  258. parents
  259. part
  260. partnered
  261. passed
  262. path
  263. patience
  264. peers
  265. pen
  266. people
  267. percent
  268. perfect
  269. perfectly
  270. person
  271. perspective
  272. perusing
  273. play
  274. playing
  275. pleading
  276. point
  277. positive
  278. provide
  279. public
  280. pull
  281. put
  282. question
  283. questioning
  284. quick
  285. quickly
  286. raise
  287. ready
  288. readying
  289. reality
  290. realized
  291. reason
  292. reasons
  293. receive
  294. receiving
  295. remember
  296. requires
  297. research
  298. reside
  299. resident
  300. returning
  301. rich
  302. role
  303. sad
  304. sat
  305. school
  306. schools
  307. setting
  308. shaped
  309. shocked
  310. shop
  311. sicilian
  312. sicily
  313. sign
  314. signs
  315. silent
  316. simple
  317. simply
  318. sitting
  319. situation
  320. slicing
  321. small
  322. smaller
  323. sourced
  324. south
  325. speak
  326. speaking
  327. sport
  328. standing
  329. started
  330. states
  331. stick
  332. stories
  333. story
  334. struggled
  335. students
  336. success
  337. successful
  338. sucked
  339. summer
  340. sun
  341. superintendent
  342. support
  343. sympathetically
  344. system
  345. taught
  346. teach
  347. teacher
  348. teachers
  349. team
  350. ten
  351. terrible
  352. thought
  353. thread
  354. thrive
  355. time
  356. times
  357. today
  358. told
  359. topic
  360. tourist
  361. town
  362. train
  363. translate
  364. translating
  365. travel
  366. traveling
  367. true
  368. understanding
  369. understood
  370. united
  371. university
  372. upbringing
  373. utopia
  374. visit
  375. volleyball
  376. walk
  377. walked
  378. wanted
  379. washington
  380. watch
  381. watching
  382. water
  383. waves
  384. weeks
  385. win
  386. window
  387. wished
  388. wishing
  389. wondering
  390. work
  391. working
  392. world
  393. year
  394. years
  395. zone