Different, But Not Less

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Deaf People

            I have always believed that each and every one of us were destined for something in this world. Some were born with extraordinary talents, while others were given a fate that tested their lives forever. One group of people affected by such are the deaf. Deaf is a term attributed to people who can partially hear, or could not hear at all. They have the physical attributes of normal people, but lack the sense of hearing. However, I never imagined that they could still shine in this world knowing their predicament.

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            I was given the opportunity to go to the Bowery Poetry Club and watch the ASL Jam. At first sight, one would feel that the place is like any other normal place where everyone could enjoy. From the outside, people would notice that the environment was quiet, and relatively small. Due to the intriguing posters about the play, anyone would disregard that fact and instead go on with their curiosity and watch the play. As one enters the venue, guests would be surprised on how the people were able to incorporate numerous details in such small area. Like any other Broadway theater, the Bowery Poetry Club had a lounge and a drinking area. To many people’s surprise, the café also serves coffee, alcohol, and different kinds of sweets. Whether hungry or in the mood to eat, anyone can definitely take a bite of their favorite food or drink, while enjoying the presentation.

            As we were seating on the chairs, I could not help but notice the different kinds of people in the room. Everyone seemed normal to me, and I would not notice that there was the presence of some people with disabilities if not for the hand gestures they used to communicate with their peers. However, my perception about the whole play changed as the first person went up the stage. Everyone around me seemed glued to the stage, and no one was making a noise. The guy went to the middle of the stage and stared at everyone. He seemed normal to me at first, for he possessed the confidence and ability every performer had. I was surprised when he started to use some hand gestures to send his message across. From what I was seeing, the guy was showing us the different emotions he had, including his sense of humor, passions, and frustrations in life. I could sense that a dramatic visual language unfold before my eyes, where body movement, body language, and rhythm were incorporated to perform a masterpiece based on poetry. I sensed that the performer on stage was definitely deaf; however, he did not have difficulty in sending his messages across.

            As the night went on, the guy continued to share with the people his dose of entertainment. No interpreter was nearby, which made it difficult for others to understand what the guy was saying. In fairness to the guy, he made sure that all the people had fun while watching him perform. He did not allow his condition to get in the way of entertainment. To compensate for his lack of speech, he used excessive facial expressions and hand gestures that enlightened the crowd.  I could feel the excitement and enjoyment that each individual had while watching the film. In addition to this, the deaf performer played games with the crowd in order to assure fun and excitement in the area. To everyone’s surprise, each participant and winner were given cute prizes.

            Watching the ASL Jam was definitely an experience I would never forget. The kind of confidence and brotherhood form among its members was another sight to marvel at. On stage, they were like any normal person—sometimes exceeding the norms required from them. The disabilities that these people had did not come as a hindrance for them to go on and fulfill their dreams. Instead, these people used their inabilities to go on and become creative. In their own little way, they are also able to inspire others to work harder and become someone in society.

            Life is short, and in this experience, I was opened to the reality that not everyone was accustomed to. ASL Jam was a reflection of how life could be fair in the world was people had difficulties in life. knowing about a different culture was something worth remembering in my lifetime.

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Different, But Not Less. (2016, Jun 10). Retrieved from


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