Silence is Golden
28 Jan 2011
I definitely developed a greater appreciation for deaf and hearing impaired people when after witnessing firsthand how five deaf athletes have adjusted their lives in order for them to be successful in their respective sport. I traveled to five cities across the United States to photograph these different athletes, and it was at the last location, Gallaudet University, that I really felt the weight of the story I was trying to illustrate. Gallaudet is the only higher education institution specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, so my experience there was different from the other locations in that I was able to see many athletes with hearing impairments working together.
Having reached the practice fields on the campus as the sun began to set, and I saw that each of them was occupied by a deaf football or soccer team. It was amazing to see all of the athletes communicate to one another using sign language, translators, and some speech. Everyone was seamlessly gesturing to each other, and playing super well. It was truly humbling to see how all of them had adapted to their individual circumstances in order to compete at such a high level.