My Deaf Parents

My Deaf Parents

A Story by Veronica Staehle

I have Deaf parents and currently am working with my siblings through some family differences that I hope will result with a better future for us all. This is my expression and write out.


My parents were raised in isolated settings from their families, and from mainstream culture. They were so unhappy with aspects of their backgrounds that when my two siblings and I were born, we were products of their dissatisfaction. We were raised in their culture, with their language, and knowledgeable of their experiences or experiences of those within their culture. Truthfully, Deaf people still to this day are not acknowledged as full human beings nor are their culture or language always respected as such a thing. My parents were criticized by hearing and Deaf people during our upbringing on their decision to raise us in a fully ASL household and not being willing to drop the ASL for speech or other hearing accommodations.


My parents were hard working proud Deaf individuals who both were the first in their family to graduate college, my mom got her masters and both of them instructed and lead future generations into the culture, language, and interpreting positions. Both are entirely successful and confident individuals and I believed that was how the world perceived them growing up. I was raised proud of having Deaf parents, being a native ASL user and being bi-lingual and bi-cultural. I’ve in fact never truly dated a mono cultured or monolingual person, and likely could never. I struggle with relating with people who have no concept of duality; a person at the least ought to have an open mindedness. While it may be strange or new to somebody, I understand that" however, I am not interested in being viewed as an oddity or rarity. My culture is large and vast.


For my parents as Deaf individuals, raised in a society that is unaccepting, they’ve had to fight and persevere constantly in the broad sense- there are sociological aspects that are not equivalent to those who were raised in communal aspects. There is a constant reminder for them, even as both are approaching/ in Senior Citizen status, where their own lives are still widely unaccepted and these confrontations happen daily for them. The relief will never come from society in their lifetime, but it can come from inside our family.


Our family has been torn apart in years past, but truthfully looking at where we are now, I have to acknowledge the resources that were unavailable to them both. Again isolating them as they experienced in their past. Nothing has provided this huge breakthrough or huge societal change where they’ve radically become empowered from mainstream society. They still have the restrictions and limitations the world places on them, and while they dedicate and work impossibly hard as human beings, the truth is some foundational aspects hearing people develop at a young age were robbed from them growing up. I see them now, and I see this history that surrounds and tries to limit them. What I ask of my family, my siblings, is to be the ones who defies their past experience. Be the products they fought hard during our upbringing to be. Defy their background, crumble their barriers, and depict the world they always hoped they were building towards. I believe in my parents mission, and I don’t care what has transpired over the years, I want to be sure they feel satisfaction in their work, validation in their pursuance, I want to be sure they know they are loved for being the brave, pioneers of Deaf parents of hearing children.

I am so proud of my parents, my culture, my language and I revere my parents for all their passion and bravery. They’re not like anyone else, and they truly are remarkable. I hope only to support, love, and continue their traditions taught to me, and strengthen and support their message and intentions engraved in me at a young age. I just want all the time in the world to spend with my parents, I make time, and I hope to make more. They are precious and I’ll never lose my admiration and reverence for their incredibleness. I only hope they live forever, and while we have time together, I hope I make as many possible incredible memories with them. 

© 2017 Veronica Staehle

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A wonderful story shared. Your parent are good examples for the all of us. Great deeds and life without hearing. This story need to be read by more people. Thank you Veronica for sharing the powerful and worthwhile story.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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Added on June 4, 2017
Last Updated on June 4, 2017
Tags: CODA, Deaf, ASL, hearing, family, parents, pride, culture, respect, American Sign Language, bi cultural, bilingual, love, fierce, siblings, mom, dad, sign language


Veronica Staehle
Veronica Staehle

New York, NY

Private personal writer; creative writing, poetry, and documenting. blog: portfolio: more..