My name is Thành. This is my sign name. I am Deaf. I am from Vietnam. I am the owner of a hair salon and I'm also a makeup artist based in Hanoi. I have 11 years of experience. I was born deaf.

When I was 5 to 10 years old, my parents looked for a school for me to attend, but they were schools for hearing children, so I was the only deaf kid there. I could not understand anything said by teacher. They used to talk a lot, usually with very long sentences that other hearing students could hear and understand, but not me. I was always pretending that I understood, but actually I couldn't. Literally, nothing. 100% not understanding. I did not know sign language at all. So I just sat in the class silently.

When we went outside for playtime, some people teased me, and provoked me by saying that I am deaf and dumb, and that I was gonna have a difficult, miserable life… I was very angry and messed things up... I fought, cried, and was very upset, and it went on like that for a while.

When I was 13 years old, I kept going to school in that bad mood, until my sister told me that she found a school in Hanoi that taught in sign language When she told me, I was very happy and excited and wanted to go there and see it. So we decided to go there. I remember the first time I went to that school. That school is quite large, from cute kids to teens, and everyone signs very quickly and well.

The first time I saw sign language it was immediately fascinating - it fascinated me. I thought everyone was playing with swords and dances, and it fascinated me, a naive child who never knew about sign language. At that time there was a child who was also deaf, constantly asking me and signing to me with great enthusiasm. I never signed an answer because I did not understand what he was asking, I did not understand and did not know that he was asking my age, so I ignored him and went on my way.

During my studies there, I was assisted by deaf friends who taught sign language to me. I first learned fingerspelling, A, B, C... I saw a new door opened, marking the first time I was aware of my language. My life from mournful melancholy, now changed to a new, happier page.

At the age of 17, I finished the program at that school. At first I was in a barbering class, but at that time my teacher taught me to cut male hair. Later, after mastering that, I wanted to learn more about cutting and styling hair for woman.

In 2010, my skills had improved and I was doing quite well. I learned about a hair styling contest, "1000 years of hair" for hair stylists, I was excited to join. It was also the first time I went to the competition, I had never gone to the competition before or had previous experience. A lot of the candidates were hearing people, many potential hair stylists. I was the only Deaf candidate. I was very confused and I had no sign language interpreter. I tried my best, created good ideas, lectures, etc. It was a difficult contest and I had to try a lot. During the competition, there was a moment when I thought I was going to lose, but I overcame that thought and tried my best. Finally, I was surprised because I won a small prize in the contest. I was extremely happy!

Then, in 2011, I decided to open my own little shop, providing hairdressing services and at the same time it was a hair training facility for the deaf. So far, in 2018, the number of students who are deaf and hard of hearing has increased, and the number of students coming to me has increased. It feels great. Now I want to share with you my new collection. I want to do this little project with my friends, they are also deaf, photographers, models, together we make collections to show Deaf talents. This collection is proof of how people see and acknowledge the Deaf talent that provides equal opportunity for deaf and hearing people. Thank you for watching.

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