Greetings ans Salutations!
When life gives you lemons, you squeeze the heck out of those lemons, get some oranges, strawberries, wine and make an amazing sangria 😋! My life has been a bit crazy during these last few weeks. Crazy in a good way! But I'm back to business and I'm ready to do what I'm assigned to do!
Yes, I'm aware it's not Monday and I'm posting a "Motivational Mckoy Monday Spotlight" again but like last post, I wanted to shed light on someone that is truly unique. I met this gentleman at a workshop at George Brown College, where I was a guest speaker. He approached me after my speech and spoke about his love for fashion. We exchanged contact information and kept in touch ever since. This guy is a trendsetter in his own right 😎. He makes his own rules and doesn't take no for an answer. He's such an inspiration to me and deserves to be recognized for his bravery. His name is Lourdhan Thamo and this is his story!
Hello, my name is Lourdhan Thamo. I born in Montreal and I'm studying at George Brown College. I am also hard of hearing.
My parents didn’t find out I was deaf until I was five years old. I was enrolled at the McKay Centre in Montreal where I learned how to use American Sign Language. I learned to speak at the age of twelve and shortly after, my parents moved to Toronto so I could attend the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program in the Toronto District Board.
Growing up in Montreal was scary. I was so different and I felt alone. Luckily, my family and I moved to Toronto and I met new people and developed great friendships. In fact, some of my friends were deaf and hard of hearing. Unfortunately, my insecurities came back a few years later when I began High School. It was reminiscent of my Montreal experience all over again. I remember being in Grade 9 and constantly being picked on by students. Strangely afterwards, we became friends and they accepted me for who I was. I guess the noticed my resilience and realized I was just like them. It was an amazing feeling for me! This is when I discovered my "Learning Advantage."
I think society assumes that people who are deaf and hard of are inadequate and incapable of doing the norm, but they are so wrong. I'm smart and I'm totally capable of doing anything as long as I put my mind to it. I travel downtown Toronto by myself, I attend doctor appointments and I even have my driver’s license. There's truly nothing that I can't do. I consider myself to be hard of hearing. I use bilateral hearing aids, I can hear spoken language and I can read lips. I can speak with my hearing friends and use ASL (American Sign Language (ASL) is the predominant sign language of deaf communities in the United States and Canada) with my deaf friends. I am actually multi-lingual because I speak English, ASL as well as Tamil and French.
I am not deaf with a small ‘d’ because I can hear and speak with my hearing friends. I am not deaf with a capital ‘D’ because I don’t consider myself to be apart of Deaf Culture. I feel equally comfortable with deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people. I guess you could say I am "tri-cultural", three different cultures!
I am proud of myself and how far I've become! This is just the beginning to what the world has in store for me!