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Melissa, a mother of three, said she and her husband know people with hearing loss due to old age, but before her children were born they never knew a deaf child.
“I fought a lot of shame and guilt,” she says. “I wanted to protect my children, to take their pain away. Often I prayed a line from Mumford and Sons, ‘Keep the earth below my feet.’ I found myself at times lost in the shame and missing the joy that was right in front of me.”
Around 90% of all children born with hearing loss have normal hearing parents, so this situation is actually quite common.
Whether the diagnosis came as a surprise or confirmed your suspicion, you will most likely be confronted with many questions coming from all sides – your family members, friends, random people on the street, work colleagues: “Is your child deaf or is your child hard of hearing? What degree of hearing impairment does he/she have? Can he/she attend regular school or must he/she go to a school for deaf children? Will he/she wear hearing aids? Are you learning sign language to communicate with him/her?”
Captions on YouTube has been such an important topic lately, mostly because they are so bad. In 2009, YouTube released their automatic captioning feature for videos using voice recognition algorithm, but the text is often inaccurate. While YouTube does let users upload their own captions, it can be time consuming, and most users don’t do it. However, with encouragement from the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community, and people like Rikki, there are some YouTubers who are leading this change. Here’s a list of some YouTubers I’ve found who caption their videos: