My name is Gay Lloyd Pinder and I recently completed my Doctorate in speech and language at the University of Washington. I am Deaf and have been Deaf for the past 11 or 12 years. I put down the telephone one day 11 or 12 years ago and decided that I was no longer hard of hearing when I couldn't hear anything out of that sweet little receiver ! It was time to start identifying myself as Deaf. Grin!
I have since learned sign language and now work with an interpreter full time at my job. I also used an interpreter all the way through the graduate program at the university. That was an education in itself!! Teaching the professors how to use an interpreter and going through the struggle of making appointments and then needing to find interpreters...on and on!! You all who use interpreters know the ins and outs. Then I discovered e-mail and it changed everything!! I began to "meet with my advisors" via e-mail and it was wonderful!! For me and for them...OK enough and on to where I am now.
I work south of Seattle in Kent, in a small Children's Therapy Center that four of us therapists started 17 years ago. It has grown to be a busy little clinic and we treat very young children with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy. I was hearing when we set up the center and have become deaf while working there so we all learned together about deafness, sign language, different ways to use a phone. etc. etc. etc. I love working there and learn every day from the families. In many ways the deafness has broadened my perspective as a therapist...or for sure has put me on the other side of the fence! I bet I am the only Deaf speech therapist around! I have a wonderful poster on the wall that pictures a brain. The caption reads, "It works perfectly well without ears" and ain't it the truth!!