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StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.StoryCorps was started in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal in 2003. Since then, more than half a million people have recorded their stories. In July 2021, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour was in Rochester, NY, to record, preserve and share our stories.

Tabitha Jacques, Susan Murad, and Kira Avery

In this segment of StoryCorps Rochester, Tabitha Jacques talks to her friend and colleague, Susan Murad, about deaf art and culture, the De'VIA movement, and how the hearing community can be better advocates and allies to the deaf community. She speaks through her interpreter, Kira Avery.

Recorded July 14, 2021
Rochester, NY

Subject Log / Time Code

Hello, my name is Susan Murad. And today's date is Wednesday, July 14 2021. My Location is in Canandaigua, New York, which is just a bit south east of Rochester, New York, located here in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. And I'm thrilled to introduce to you my conversation partner, who's also a colleague. And I would also like just think of as a friend, and her name is Tabitha shocks Tabitha. Hi,

My name is Tabitha shock. Today I'll be using American Sign Language and here with me as an interpreter whose name is Kiera, who will be interpreting into English. I'm 37 years old, and they have Wednesday, July 14 2021. I live in Rochester, New York for the next two months or so. And I am pleased to be here today chatting with my colleague and friend Susie Merritt.

Thank you Tabitha. Oh, and I did forget to give my age. I don't know how I forgot that. I am almost 62. So I get 61 right now. But I'm not the important one. Here Tabitha is. And I just am thrilled to be able to share my my friend Tabitha, my colleague, Tabitha, journey, her her history, her experiences, with StoryCorps, and I think you'll all find her as fascinating as I do. But I'd like to start first Tabitha with kind of some personal background, maybe where you were born, where you grew up some of your schooling, and maybe briefly some of the journey that you've been on as a deaf individual.

Great. I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, born and raised. And then I left home to explore the world. I was born out of hearing. My parents are both deaf. On my father's side of the family, I am fifth generation deaf. on my mom's side of the family, I'm the second generation. So growing up, I always had American Sign Language as part of my life my entire life. My parents separated when I was about two and a half my father moved away. And so I grew up in Louisiana, my mother remarried to my stepfather who I really do consider my father. And my stepfather was born in Mexico and moved to United States when he was a child. And so I grew up with a Mexican family with Mexican culture, all of my half siblings are Mexican, I was white, the only white person in that family besides my mom. And so I just really, I cherished that cultural experience as a kid. I traveled to all sorts of different schools. As a deaf person, one challenge is educational background. It's not easy to access education that fits your access needs. And so I was born hard of hearing. And I could hear enough and I could get by speaking. And I was the only deaf person in my mainstream program. And I did not have an interpreter. So I got by, until about seven, where I lost more of my hearing. I had Moto and so I started to become more and more deaf. And the realization was that I would need an interpreter and need to go to a different school. And this school that I was placed in at that point, had sort of a self selected category of students. And so I was in this other class, it was sort of a regular classroom. But during recess, I would be able to hang out with the other deaf kids and we just had a blast, sharing language and being together. I was able to find community there. And then in eighth grade, I realized that socially I needed to have access to an environment that had sign language. So I went to a deaf school where my mom happened to teach my aunt's happened to teach there as well. So it was a residential school for the deaf and I just truly enjoyed my time there. I really, I just learned social skills. I met all sorts of different For people, and it was a K through 12 program. And so my peers were of varying ages. But it kind of sucks to have your mom and Aunt working at your school. Right. So that was something to navigate, it was a little bit of a challenge. I applied for a school called the Louisiana school for math and science and art.

It was a gifted residential school. And it was three hours from my home.

I was the first deaf applicant accepted to this school, I was the only deaf person there, nobody else signed except myself and my interpreter. I lived in the dorms with all hearing peers, and I was there for two years. And that was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. But it was also one of the most enriching because I just learned so much. It was just a different educational approach. It wasn't a traditional model of it, it was really more of a prep for college than anything else. And so I truly enjoyed my two years there and graduated. At that point, American Sign Language was a need in my life not to want. And so I applied for college, of course, Gallaudet University was the one and I was accepted there, where I was in an all signing environment. And I graduated from there in 2006. And I loved my time there.

Awesome, thank you very much. I want to switch a little bit. And maybe you can take us through this leap, excuse me, from your schooling, to your personal and professional passion, which I happen to know is deaf art. So if you could maybe give us a sense of that. What, what brought you to that your experience with deaf art, your own personal experience, and how that became such a personal passion to you that it ended up translating into your professional life.

Yes, I'll jump around a little bit here. But I promise it's all connected. Growing up, I hated art. And I hated history. I just hated them both. And today, I still have no artistic prowess, I can't draw to save my life. I have no passion for creating art in any means. And so with that disclaimer, growing up, I did have the gift of language and culture, Deaf language and culture. And so my mom would always mention deaf artists by name and point out their work. And just to make it clear that there are many Deaf Children and Deaf adults in the world that share an experience that share a culture. And so I was thought that was interesting, something mom talked about, but I didn't have a passion to create things for myself. It wasn't creating poems about what it meant to be deaf for the deaf experience or anything like that. I am pure. I enjoyed listening to other people's reflections. But that was not my priority. As a teenager, I had other things on my mind.

So when I went to college, I was majoring in teaching and psychology and an English. They had required elective courses. And so I took a look at the list. And I knew I didn't want a morning class. So that limited things, narrowed things down to classes at like two in the afternoon or so. And one of the options was art history. And I thought to myself, you know, this is probably one of the worst subjects for me. But I'd rather take that because it's an afternoon class, and I'll take it over an ATM. And that's how I got signed up for an art history course my very first and taking the course I ended up really enjoying it and doing exceptionally well. And so my professor prompted me to take the second semester in that track. And so I did, I took that sub second semester of art history, and I enjoyed it even more, and I realized that I have a real talent for this field. At that time, I hadn't explored def art. I just had taken, you know, more broad art history courses and enjoyed them. And then I started talking with different individuals about their experience and they clued me into deaf art. One of the requirements for an art history major was To take art classes, you see. So some of the teachers were deaf artists in their own right. And they were telling me the history of other deaf artists creating art about the deaf experience. And so I did end up majoring in art history. But what job opportunities were there in the world at that time? For someone with an art history degree, there were not a lot of opportunities. I wanted to figure out how I could fit into industry. I ended up working at the Smithsonian for a time and an internship. I also worked for the United States Postal Museum. And I was asking around in the deaf community at the same time. Do we have deaf art? And are you interested in it? Would you want to see a museum curated about the deaf experience? Would you like a Deaf curator, and there was interest there in the deaf community in DC?

folks wanted this. And so in graduate school.

Well, in graduate school, I ended up majoring in Art History and museum studies. And then I had to go to New York City. It was part of my school requirement to take a trip there. And I lived there for a semester for this program. And New York City was incredible. It had a huge program of offerings for the deaf community, by the deaf community. And so the people who were the docents in the museum were deaf individuals. And I wondered why DC was such a vibrant deaf community did not have the same equivalent experience available. And so I reached out to my advisor and said, you know, if I set up an internship in DC, would you accept that for credit, and I was met with enthusiasm. So I was able to negotiate with the Smithsonian Institution to develop a program. And the Smithsonian, as you know, has 90 museums. And so there was only one that they were going to offer this pilot program.

They were willing to partner with me. And

this was, you know, sort of out of my own side business, there was no 501 C three, this was artistic events for deaf people. This program was set up, it was successful. At the same time, I would go to bars asking the community questions like, please fill out this survey. What are you interested in? Do you want to receive our newsletter? Do you want to stay in touch. And so I got a lot of community response, eat the bar scene worked to get the deaf community on bar on board. And so we gathered all this community support instead of a program called Art eyes. So I would send out the newsletter, send out emails connect with folks. And there were one or two organizations in the DC area that would host hearing artists but would provide interpreters at the gallery itself. And that was so popular, the deaf community truly showed up for these events and really enjoyed participating. And so my goal was to connect the hearing art community with the Deaf art community. I wondered why they were separate. I wonder why they hadn't connected at that point. And I was, I don't know 23 At the time, young, assertive and creative really enjoyed being a part of my community and contributing in this way. And so the deaf community was pretty small in that area at that time. And word on the street was Tabitha was trying to do something with art. And so deaf artists ended up reaching out to me, saying, If someday you get this project going, I would love to show my work. I would love to participate. And so I started a Rolodex, if you will a list of Deaf artists who are deaf art, and so my reputation became, you know, that deaf art lady. My interest was in art history, and then it transitioned more into deaf art itself, expressing the deaf experience. But again, job opportunities were nil at that time in that field. And so I worked various jobs moved around and really they have nothing to do with deaf art. I was an admissions counselor for Gallaudet University for a time. I was the Accessibility Program Manager At the office of deaf and hard of hearing and so these these jobs that I had had nothing to do with deaf art, but that was still a passion burning inside me. I would volunteer at various museums offer tours, and stay connected to that world in a volunteer sense until I had the opportunity to apply for the director of the dire Arts Center here at RMIT NTD. In Rochester, New York, I thought I must apply for this absolutely unique institution. And luckily, I was offered the position. So I've been very fortunate to be here for six years in this current position, and I just have a passion for Deaf art that has grown exponentially being in this place, seeing how deaf art is valued and having an opportunity to participate and how it's valued. It's unique to the world.

That's wonderful. I just want to clarify that our IT MTI D is Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf. And that is one of the nine colleges at RMIT. And it serves to provide direct instruction to deaf and hard of hearing students, as well as teaching, interpreting, and also students who are cross registered in the rest of the university. So I just wanted to clarify what alrighty and ti d meant. You talked about getting to know some of the Deaf artists in the community. And I just wanted to ask you if you could explain a little bit about a movement within the deaf art community called De’VIA and who, who you might say introduced that concept to you? And what what that is meant to kind of coalescing the art, the deaf artists world. Sure, so

De’VIA is an acronym for Deaf view, image art to be. And this was a movement founded in 1989 by a group of Deaf artists who got together and realized there was no movement for Deaf art. And there were deaf artists prior to this time. But they had been overlooked, you know, as a minority experience. And so they wanted to have art about the deaf experience particularly, and deaf people felt frustrated with the challenges of are deaf people wanted to show what the deaf experience was like an affirmation of culture, the resistance they faced as a minority culture. And so this group of individuals got together and talked about what that might look like talking about art that reflects the deaf experience what is De’VIA? And so they came up with a manifesto that described what art would look like made from the deaf experience and from that point forward that that moment broke ground for Deaf artists all over the United States and truly all over the world. The person who taught me about De’VIA is probably my mom. Again, she was a staunch advocate for Deaf Culture. She taught as a residential school for the deaf and so she mentioned De’VIA to me as a child. And so I already had an awareness of the term before going to college and learning more about it. They're some of the artists themselves were from from that group from the De’VIA group were my instructors, or were my mentors or community members. And so I had direct access to the folks who started this movement as part of my education. One of the interesting things about De’VIA that many people don't necessarily realize is that that movement started in parallel with the Deaf President Now, movement at Gallaudet University. That was a demand by the Deaf community to have a deaf president of the deaf university Gallaudet. Now that movement was influenced by the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. So you can see this cascading effect of civil rights connecting to deaf individuals coalescing as a community saying we can speak up for ourselves, we can coalesce around our culture and our experience so prior to De’VIA really before the 70s It wasn't proper in the community to talk about the struggles of being a deaf person. That was something that wasn't talked about in the deaf community, it was taboo. The most important priority was assimilation. So you weren't to express that part of your deaf identity. And then, at this time, around the time of De’VIA, there were more and more discussions about this. And truly, it was because of the civil rights that the disability rights movement garnered a lot of support and coalesced around speaking up for themselves, and so did via again, was established in 1989, and is still a very active movement today. It's changed. Of course, it looks different from when it started, but it is still active. And at the same time, there's been other types of movements within the deaf art community that have arose as well, but they haven't had the same sort of name or recognition as a group. But I can certainly see similarities and just different generations taking up the mantle, different cultures, different identities, connecting with the Deaf identity and showing up in their art in different ways than they were reflected into via. And just to add, one of the big reasons that deaf art is around today, is both the deaf community and the hearing community.

Don't always connect.

There's not a lot of deaf individuals in the field of art history. Not many of them are trained in that field. And there hasn't been a lot of scholarship or publication on Deaf art itself. Deaf studies as a field, and it is a very young field.

And deaf art is even younger, if you will.

So we're still in the beginning stages of this. But this moment in time is powerful, you can see that we're going to have more knowledge and more access to art about the deaf experience because of places like the dire Art Center. Social media has also made things very accessible. There's opportunities for artists to gather to share ideas. And so it's an exciting time to be in and I feel honored and blessed to be right in the heart of all of it at the direct center.

Tabitha you touched on something that I wanted to raise with you and that is kind of the disconnect between the hearing art world and the deaf art world. And what do you feel that hearing people what not just artists, but all all people? What can they learn about the deaf experience through deaf art? How how can that be a bridge to to understanding the death experience?

The hearing Art History field prior to the 70s, I guess, again, was predominantly white and male LED.

Eventually, more black and brown folks, LGBTQ folks, disabled folks were able to join the field but not without a lot of work, advocating for themselves fighting to be at the table. And I know that that is still an issue today. Many marginalized communities are not at the table today. And deaf art is an example of that. Most likely this is because of language deprivation. Hearing people do not know sign language, and they focus on English as a spoken language. And deaf individuals don't often have a strong fluency in the English language. And so there's a disconnect that occurs because the hearing and deaf community don't often share a language in that way. But over the past few years, I've seen an of more of a connection between the hearing and deaf art worlds. I think that hearing people will truly benefit from thinking about the deaf experience from understanding the deaf experience. Most often the hearing community looks to people with disabilities as having a problem that needs to be fixed. It's the medical view of deafness the pathological view that Oh, I'm so sorry. We need to figure out how you can fit into the hearing world as best as possible how we can get you to assimilate and So that framework of looking at the deaf experience as a disadvantage. And you know, I can't speak for people with other disabilities, but within the deaf world, there's such a rich language or rich culture, we have traditions, poetry, literature. And so we have this wealth of copy of culture that is not is not seen because of a language barrier. So, I feel like deaf art is one of the best ways to reach a hearing audience. Because it's in a visual medium, it's in a medium that you can ignore, it's going to connect to your heart immediately. And you'll wonder what does that mean? Why does this person is reflecting their heart in this way? If this deaf person is sad, or if they're reflecting the experience of deaf people, why are their hands so big? Why are their eyes so big? What does that do to connect their culture?

And of course, that leads into more of a curiosity to say, Okay, what is the deaf experience, then? Is there a culture there? And if so, what is that culture like? And why is it like that? I feel like it can inform a hearing person's experience but also serve to shift their lens. The medical view of deafness is damaging, it's damaging for the deaf community, this idea of language deprivation. And when I talk about language deprivation, what I truly mean Are parents in the school system, become so concerned about a Deaf child's need to assimilate into the hearing world, that they're so occupied with teaching this deaf child how to assimilate, to make sure that they can hear and whatever capacity they can, that they can speak in whatever capacity they can, that they never learn literacy. They don't learn math skills, or science or history, that education time on those subjects is instead prioritized with speech therapy. And so I just want to show through deaf art and that's, which shows the deaf experience for both children and adults, deaf adults who experienced language deprivation, who never had the opportunity to learn American Sign Language, who never had the opportunity to learn literacy, what's their experience, and I hope that that serves as a broader message for the larger deaf community that are that larger hearing community that deaf people being forced to assimilate and hearing culture hasn't worked. And we needed to shift towards a lens of celebration, celebrating difference, celebrating deaf people for their contributions to the world. And so there's an incredible amount of power in displaying art from a different cultural perspective and having someone from a majority culture be able to do some introspection and think about if I had a deaf child, what I want this deaf child to grow up and create art like this deaf adult has created that shows this deprivation. And so I hope that would change their experience, change their thoughts, and to just think that for the deaf community itself, to be inspired to be proud of this community, and a deaf person's identity is to be celebrated. It doesn't matter how a person chooses to identify, there are all sorts of different kinds of ways to be deaf, you can choose to speak or choose not to speak, use American Sign Language or not. I, for example, have no desire to be hearing, I cherish and love my culture. And I truly love that we can coalesce together around this experience. And so deaf art is so important and must be part of the historical story of America of the historical story of our culture. Because we are part of that story to culture, identity, and history is all present in this art. And so I aim to make that more public.

Thank you so much. I agree with all that you're saying. And it's very interesting that we are this we are recording this in the month of July, which happens to be the month where the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed. And I we can we can always debate on whether that piece of legislation has advanced things or not or you know, but I always I always look at that as kind of an interesting milestone, and where, where maybe we are now where we still need to get to. So I think that that what we're talking about right now is really timely. I wanted to talk to you about some of the major issues winces or names? Maybe you could do a little name dropping for us. If there are some particular deaf artists, I know you don't want to leave anyone out because you know a lot of these people, but who would you recommend if someone were to just say who would be the artists I should look at so that I can get kind of an understanding or a feeling or an introduction to works by Deaf artists.

Well, not many deaf artists have websites, unfortunately. But the founders of De’VIA are a good place to start. Chuck Baird, who I absolutely adore. He was a teacher of mine. Unfortunately, he passed away. But everybody who remembers Chuck Baird knows that he was just larger than life and as well cherished in the deaf community. Betty G. Miller is another artist I never had the opportunity to meet but has had a profound impact on the community. She's the one that started it all, if you will. She really fought to bring the death experience through art to the forefront.

Then, of course, there's an silver Harry Williams.

They were not part of the founding of De’VIA, but were very much a part of that movement. They need to be recognized for all of the work that they did to advocate for Deaf art. I'm thinking about more current artists,

Ashley Hannon, they make work about the death experience. And then there's people like Laurel Hartman who you don't see the death experience explicitly in their work, but their abstract work does have undertones of the death experience. But if you didn't have that awareness, then you might not notice it off the bat. Christine Sun Kim is another example who everyone in the world should know. A Deaf artist who has reclaimed sound in her art. And then there are some lesser known artists that are still very important that don't have websites.


Roy Richie. He's a black artist, and just has fascinating surrealist pieces that correspond with the death experience.


Juan Estrella is another artist who talks about the deaf experience from a Hispanic background. And so there are also people like Nancy Rourke, a classic, someone who everyone knows he's creating art consistently about the deaf experience too.


That's great. I love seeing you put all those people's names out there and actually watching your expression as you're describing them, because I know how close they all are to your heart and to so many of us who've had the fortunate experience to get to know some of some of these artists in their work, which has been, for me personally a real benefit of fringe benefit, I guess you would say for the work that I do. I wanted to ask you a little bit about because with De’VIA it sounds like most of those artists are from the US. How does def art internationally kind of connect or blend in that way? And are you?

Or or?

I guess I would wonder too about specific. You mentioned Roy Richie people who are within Deaf and identity identities. So, you know, folks from other countries or folks with a deaf and identity whether it's deaf and Latinx or deaf and black or however, however that is how are those? Are those experiences expanding for art for artists, the opportunities or can you speak to that a little bit Sure.

So because of my art history background, I always like to say that De’VIA has its place in the Deaf Art History timeline. And there are artists who are deaf and who might say yes, De’VIA is a movement that I identify with. And there's also deaf artists who do not identify with that movement and have their own communities. There are Black Deaf artists, that their experience as deaf people is different than the white deaf experience. It's just different. And so they create art based on their unique experience, their culture, their background, and that's different than the white deaf experience. And the same goes for the LGBTQ community. There are deaf blind artists as well. Their experience is so different. And like I mentioned earlier, right now, there are a lot of opportunities arising for people to create their own movements. But folks haven't looked in these movements through academia or scholarship or publication quite yet. And so through the art history lens, I mean, I'm thinking about the Deaf world, all over the world, there are different attitudes and perceptions of deafness. Right, some countries, deaf people are truly marginalized and are not recognized as human as part of the community. And so I'm sure that's very different. It is very different than the American deaf experience.

There are countries where deaf the deaf community is advocated for is supported financially in ways that are really different than how Deaf people are supported here in the United States. And so I think that it's That's a complicated question to answer. But right now is truly a time of growth.

It's an incubating period people are in the kitchen, they're cooking, but we this hasn't come to fruition that hasn't made it to the table yet. And I'd like to say that the Dyer Art Center helps with this, advocating deaf individuals to create art about their experience and get it out into the world.

That's awesome. And I know that you're really doing all of that work yourself. I want it in the remaining time that we have, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about kind of going back to the personal parts of your life. We know that the death art actually crosses over through all aspects of your life and in your in your world, in your work professionally, and your own personal passion. But talk to us a little bit Tell me a little bit about I happen to know that you're a mom now. And how has motherhood maybe changed your perceptions of you know, the death experience where you are now where you you know, what you what life looks like for you now, I guess.

My child is hearing and so they're called a child of a deaf adult.

ACOTA is the acronym. Their experience is unique.

For me, I grew up with many friends who were quotas. Even my interpreter that is working into English today is a quota and identifies as a quota. I'm really fascinated with the quota experience, because I think it's a unique experience. And it's certainly part of the deaf experience as a whole. And so as a mom, now I see my son who is two and a half. And I understand more about that experience. He has natural fluency in American Sign Language. But of course, I worry about him going to a public school system with a majority of hearing peers, and then feeling that he doesn't share a culture with them. Deaf culture is very tactile. Touch is normal in our community. Sharing emotions, facial expressions, pointing is very culturally normal in the deaf community. And that isn't in public school for hearing children. The focus is on spoken language touch isn't always culturally acceptable. And so my child is going to have to navigate those boundaries between our shared cultures and cultures that we don't share. And I think that I don't want it to destroy that light in him this light that we both share of the deaf experience right now. This you know, language that we both share and cherish as a mom, I want to make sure that he appreciates deaf culture that he values American Sign Language and that the deaf community is beautiful and complicated at once and is his community. And I want to know that he always feels that he has a place in that world, and that we share that world together.

I love that. And I can't believe he's two and a half already. One of the other things I wanted to ask you about, and I know this is gonna sound a little silly, but I like to ask this question. Just in general of friends, as well as if I'm doing an interview with someone, what's the perfect day look like to you? What is your perfect day?

Like a work day or anything? Both Okay, both.

One of the things that I love about my work is that it's creative. I know, I mentioned that I have no artistic talent, but I am creative in other ways. And so my perfect day would probably won't be one where in the morning, I'm able to get outside and to go for a walk. Where I am thinking about all the projects that I have going on with the Dyer Art Center, different ideas that I have around def art, I might take notes on what those are, and then be able to visit an art museum and have lunch at an awesome local restaurant for inspiration. And then would be back at work and be able to put those ideas into practice to call specific individual individuals that inspire me to share ideas to get the community on board and excited. And at the end of the day to have plans to execute all of my ideas.

That's great. I just either other parts of of your experience of your story that I haven't asked you about that you'd like to touch on, I want to make sure that I'm not just, quote unquote, leading the witness here. I want to be able to open this up so that you can have some space to share your thoughts.

Really, I think this has been great. I just have to thank Susie because she is one of my biggest fans and advocates to make sure that the hearing world is aware of my work that folks know about the dire Art Center. We need more allies in the deaf community, we need more hearing people who make other hearing people more aware of the deaf community. Did you know about Deaf art? Did you know about the dire Art Center has this incredible exhibit come with me to see it, we need more people sharing that narrative because this work that I do, I can't do alone. And so I'm thankful for people like Suzy who take the opportunity to get the story out about Deaf art and the dire Art Center to the world. And I hope that, you know, 15 or 20 years later, I hear from somebody who says that I learned about Deaf culture today because of this conversation, and that this isn't something new that this is something that everyone can talk about and participate in and enjoy.

Well, I can speak for and thank you very much. I can certainly say that some of the most impactful art that has brought me to a deeper level of understanding of the death experience has been just on a lunch break, just wandering through the Dyer Art Center and just seeing things that literally, you know, my heart just felt so strongly. And that really helped me to understand more about the death experience. And so for myself, I can certainly say that, it, it brings a new and a wider, a wider lens to life in general. And I always say that, you know, once you've had an experience of trying to, to get that deeper understanding you, you won't go back, it'll always stay in the back of your mind and you'll always you'll look at all things differently, you know, is that accessible to people are? Can someone understand what I'm what I'm saying or what I'm doing? You know, if I if I'm giving a presentation and I turn and write on a board, will you know Will everyone know what's going on? So those things that may seem very small or overlooked to others? You know, just are so important. And once once they've been once you've been exposed to those kinds of experiences through another person's eyes, you don't forget those. And so I am grateful to you for opening my eyes, certainly, and others, like me who want to be an ally. And we'll do whatever, whatever we can certainly not taking our own lead book taking following your lead. And so I appreciate that very much. So, those are those were the questions that I had for you. I'm just very thrilled to be able to participate in this experience, and be able to spend some time with a person I enjoy so much. I also want to thank Kira so much for interpreting for me so that our communication between one and other is is clear. And you're understanding me while I'm sitting here, not signing and trying not to use my hands. And certainly Kira is the expert, I would not be doing this nearly as well.

She is talented.

So those are I, I guess I would I would also like to just kind of put in a plug if that's okay. To tip for folks to visit the dagger Art Center website, which is located at www dot r i Id slash dire. I think that's what it is. We're both so used to just going through it, we don't look at it. It's like when you're when someone asks you what another family member's phone number is I have no idea anymore because it's just a name that pops up. So, but those would be that's a great place for for folks who are interested to start and kind of start this journey for themselves. So I would hope that people would would visit that site R i Id slash Dyer dy er. So thank you so much. I hope that anyone who's listening to this enjoyed and yes, definitely we're we're excited to to experience more of these StoryCorps. It for for the deaf and hard of hearing community as well as learning more about all people journeys.

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  • StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.StoryCorps was started in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal in 2003. Since then, more than half a million people have recorded their stories. In July 2021, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour was in Rochester, NY, to record, preserve and share our stories.