Hello, everybody. I'm just gonna introduce myself. My name is Susan. I live here in Georgia and this is my son. His name is Noah. He's 19 years old, soon he'll be 20. Anyways, he'll be using his voice and interpreting for me, because as you can tell, I'm Deaf, and we don't use our voice on live vlogs because some of our family and some of my friends don't understand me well and don't understand sign language very well.
So... So, the purpose for me to make this vlog, this live video, real quick, short and simple, and with a little bit of an extra thing at the end, a little bit of my own personal experience... This is the second time that this has actually happened. Yesterday, I went out to Outback Steakhouse, and I went in with my son and the hostess came and asked me, "Where would you like to sit?" "Oh, I'd like to sit at a booth." Everything was going well and we went to go sit down, and my son, Noah, took it back a little bit and informed me that the waitress, or the hostess, had asked him, "Does your mom need a Braille menu?" No, no, it's not funny... It's not funny. I was like, no, because I can't hear but I can see very well through my own eyes.
So that's actually the second time that this has happened. What's wrong with people, you know? I can't... Just please spread the word. Spread the education for the people who work at the restaurants. You know, she was a young girl... But just try not to ask for a Braille menu for someone who can obviously see. You have to see with your own eyes that they're deaf. They can walk. They can see. So I would appreciate it if you just take a little bit more caution with that. I'm just trying to spread the word to these restaurants, especially Outback Steakhouse - this is the second time that this has happened.
And a few months ago, up at Chili's, this happened, but fortunately they went to the back and they changed out the waitress for someone who actually knows sign. They apologized and the person didn't intend to ask for that Braille menu. But it just so happened that they switched out the waitress who actually knew how to sign. And they were actually very skilled with ASL and they were from Jacksonville and they moved here to Georgia and I was very, very impressed she had a lot of patience and understanding about this.
OK, I just wanted to talk a little bit about the Deaf community feeling left out. Like for example, I want to sort of expose the Deaf community - and really a high percentage of hearing families or hearing parents of deaf children and babies who are growing up - please do not leave them out during dinner, during mealtimes, during family times, or during conversations. Because I've noticed, and I'm one of them too. Like for example, one time, really, many, many of times, where I was out eating and everybody was talking around me, laughing around me, my mother, my father, my sisters, my brothers, all laughing, all having a good time around me and I was just eating, looking around like, "Hey, you know, what's going on?" Later on, I'd just be eating... "Hey, why are you guys laughing? "What's up? What's the joke?" And just eating and my Mom said, "Oh, you eat way to too fast." And I said, "No, I don't eat fast. "It's just cause you guys left me out during this dinner time "while you were all talking and laughing "and I just didn't really know what was going on." You know, it kinda built up a little anger inside me. I felt disgusted, I felt... Because, you know, you guys don't know sign as well... "There was no time to learn sign language." No time... They just kept telling me over and over again that there was no time to learn sign language. And the only word they ever learned was "I love you."
They don't have the time to learn how to communicate with me, and I never knew sign language until I was 19-20 years old either. Oh yes, I truly love the Deaf culture. And fortunately I was able to pick it up and learn how beautiful sign language is and how important it is for communication. And instead of speaking, I just learned to sign. And everything about it - with seeing with your eyes, your body language, your expressions, your gestures... Now I identify myself as a Deaf person and I'm very, very proud of it. And I want to be able to spread the word to parents of deaf children - please do not leave your children, or your child out, and take away their language. And I highly encourage you to learn how to sign, learn how to communicate, and learn how to include them to make your child grow up and have a very, very smooth childhood. And really grow that bond and love between each other. Because you have no idea what your child will... Grow up... And how they'll grow up and what they'll grow up to be.
And one more thing before I end this little short, little live stream - I was about 25 years old, 24 to 25, and I flew over to New York because my grandmother had passed away. And my aunt and uncle and cousin were all sitting around discussing and preparing the funeral. They were all talking and chatting and I was looking around, trying to... I couldn't catch their lips, they were just talking too fast and too many voices, and it was just - it really, really blew me up. And I sat up, slammed my hands down on the table and they all looked at me, and I spoke out, "I'm here and I would like to have an interpreter "for my grandmother's funeral." Even though it was last minute. They all just sort of backed away and they said, "Oh, can't you read lips?" And I said, "No. I do not want to miss anything. "I don't want to miss any information "spoken during my grandmother's funeral, "because it's only one time. "You know, you only get one shot at that." And I was crying. Yes, I was crying a lot. And they all felt so sorry. Fortunately, last minute, they were able to find an interpreter to show up. And it was really worth my time and a very solid memory for me. And it was very peaceful and they explained about my grandmother's passing away and all that stuff that happens in a funeral. But I mean, it was, wow, but... Please just, you need to speak up for what you want. And request an interpreter, regardless of if your family knows sign language or not. Especially if somebody in your family passes away. Just think about - just think about this.
My job is very nice as a Deaf mentor. You know, it really has given me a lot of experience. And I work with six families. And their children have various different deafness - I can't really tell you more than that because of confidentiality, but I've experienced and influenced all of their lives and introduced them into the Deaf culture, and history, and the language. And I've been trying to teach them all - all the parents, and what they're going through and helping them out. But, you know, I'm just here to help and they look up to me as sort of a role model. What I've been through, and, you know, being able to teach them - it's something that they can never really truly relate to. I feel a special bond with all of them.
But thank you for watching this live stream. Thank you for tuning in. And one last thing, at the restaurant, if they ask, you know, for a Braille menu, please say no. I can see, I can read. I just can't hear, so... Thank you... Thank you all so much. Have a wonderful day. Bye bye.