Hi, I am a "hearie" as "deafies" would call me. I find myself here because my child is profoundly deaf. My goal is to learn about the deaf community, make some new friends (deaf, or hearing or anything in between), and learn to communicate in your world. I do this out of love for my child in the hopes to be able to help guide him through his life. I know that growing up in a world where the majority is hearing, he will encounter many hurdles. Hurdles that I am sure the deaf community deals with all of the time. I wholeheartedly welcome your insight. My comments below are only my opinions based on what I am learning. I welcome responses to any errors. I am in no way meaning to insult or offend anyone, but please let me know if I do. It's part of my learning process. I see the deaf community as diverse. Not unlike the diversity found in the hearing community, or in the world for that matter. In that regard, the deaf and hearing communities are alike. One form of diversity in both of our worlds is the differing opinion on assimilation by the deaf to the hearing world. How or even if one should assimilate seems to work it's way into topics of discussion. I would have never imagined that a deaf or hearing-impaired person would not want to assimilate to the hearing world. I now know better and will not make that assumption ever again. There is also a word that shows up frequently. Audism. Some say it isn't a word. I didn't find it in the English dictionary. So I searched the Internet and found the history and definition of Audism from what appears to be a reliable source. Click here to read what I found. I read the definition and drew the conclusion that Audism is how Bigotry, Discrimination, Prejudice, and Stereotyping apply to the deaf community. Audist's can be hearing or deaf. Yes, this word, the hatred, the fear and the ignorance it breeds, are all quite real. Audism was very prevelant in the old days. Over time we have become more educated resulting in acceptance. There are extremists in all walks of life. That is ok. It’s not my problem. Because we live in a free society, they have a right just as anyone else does to voice their views as long as they don’t cross the legal line. The way I will make choices for my child is to educate myself. The last thing I (or anyone) wants is to be told what to do. But please share your experiences so that I may consider them. The best thing anyone can do is to share their experiences in an objective manner in the hopes of educating others. To me, knowledge is power. The power I have to make an informed decision. I will pass this knowledge to my child. And when my child is ready to make decisions, they will be informed ones as well. In conclusion, for me, it's about freedom of choice. It's about educating myself of the choices that are available to me, and selecting the ones that work. It's about making adjustments if needed. It’s about a never-ending learning process. It's about live and let live. It’s about the ability to weed through the nonsense that is Audism Thank you for taking the time to read this.