New Member
Hello there!

I go by Snowy or Shrug online a lot. I tried to find rules to see if this was a dDeaf and HoH only community, but I didn't find any such thing. I'm 24, and while I am Hearing, I hope I can at least respectfully observe, if not participate.

I have a few reasons. The original reason even from when I was a small kid was that I met a HoH person and it was what clued my little brain into "there's a whole world of people I can't be verbal with, I would love to include them in my life"
As I got older, the wish to access ASL and Deaf community more just increased. I grew up with Marlee being the hot new buzz in the Hearing world. My options in rural Texas, homeschooled, and poor internet didn't provide me with any ASL support. Now, not only do I have my story below, but my partner and I have non verbal episodes from our mental health. We also both struggle with hearing insensitivity / mild loss. We both find ASL much more freeing, her especially as she is on the Autism spectrum and the visual/meaning to sign connection 'clicks for her.

By the time I made it to college, my family had tried to help me learn a total of 5 languages, including English. I am not true conversational strength in any of those 5 except English, or maaaaybe a very simple toddler's vocabulary. However, i moved to Oregon, Salem specifically, midway through my Associates in 2013. I was able to take 2/3 of the ASL first year classes with a WONDERFUL Deaf teacher. I was extra excited for the chance, because I know that at some point in my career building I want to be in a service position.

I would especially like to work with disabled adults, since the disability community is both personal and close to my heart, and I saw how immediately support disappeared for my Autistic sibling when he turned 18. Needs for children become needs for adults :/ most likely, I'll be doing art therapy, and I'd like to be completely fluent in ASL so I can support the cross connection of dDeaf/HoH and disabled. I feel like ASL changes so much more between interpreter vs one to one than verbal language, and ASL interpreters for mental and health care seem nore rare than verbal interpreters.

I feel confident in saying ASL is my second language. I adore it, I adored learning the historical beginnings (even if like much history, it is dark), I adored learning the culture and icons, I adored learning the linguistics and structure for signs. I want to keep improving, and I want to be a better supporter for the Deaf community. My experience as a chronic illness, mental illness, LGBT person has taught me that the best support begins with listening. So, I found my way here!