Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 8

Day 8: Yenter
Age: 38
Major: Associates in Science
Hometown: Taiwan
Connection to me: Biology

Yenter and I sat side by side on our laptops and did the interview through chat because of his hearing disability. 

Me:  When did you come to Houston?
Yenter: I was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. when I was 9 years old. I mostly grew up in Boston then about ten years ago, I moved to Louisiana.  I raised my family there, then my son turned 15 years old so, I decided to go back to school to finish my degree. Texas has free tuition for disability citizens.
Me: That picture you showed me of you and your wife, I've seen her, does she go to HCC?
Yenter: Her name is Betty...yes, she attends here.
Me: Is your wife also deaf?
Yenter: Yes, she is.
Me: And your son?
Yenter: No, he is hearing. He is CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults). His first language is American Sign Language.
Me: Wow that's incredible. What is it like, to not be able to hear?
Yenter: It does not bother me if I can or can't hear, all that counts is that I am in good health and happy.
Me:  How did you and your wife meet?
Yenter:  Its an interesting story....I used to work for a boys high school dorm at a deaf school...two of the high school students graduated and went to college at SWCID (Southwest College Institution of Deaf), in Big Spring, TX. which is where my wife, Betty went. Years later they invited me to their wedding and Betty was there, that is how I met her.
Me: Were you born deaf?
Yenter: No I was born hearing...I got sick with meningitis then I became deaf when I was one years old.
Me:  What can you hear with the hearing aid? Sounds?
Yenter:  I mostly can hear the background noise, such as a phone ringing, talking in the background, a car horn, etc. I can't hear words.
Me:  Do you ever feel that people treat you differently because of your disability?
Yenter Yes, sometimes.
Me: Any examples?
Yenter:  I used to work for UPS, I wanted to be a driver and drove for one year. Then the headquarter found out that I am deaf and they discharged me due to their insurance.
Me:  Wow I'm so sorry :/
Yenter:  That's alright, I moved on....You have to keep moving on even if you get frustrated. 

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