Our voices get muffled, buried, silenced, pushed aside. I push my own voice aside which causes me to exist on the fringe. It leaves me right where I came from, feeling like my inner powerless child. Existing as my own inner powerless child, voiceless, surviving. How my child, head in hands, traumatized by a most restrictive environment. One that prevented her from forming deep relationships, made her inner powerless, overwhelmed child come out. Her voice taken. I was told she had to come to school everyday even if she cried and pulled my legs as I dropped her off.
I called out loud for a change. I listed every obstacle, everything that would have benefited my daughter, would have opened the door to full participation at school in a mainstreamed environment. That would have given her inner power and trust in her own voice. That would have given her fair and equal access to education. We are not powerless. Sometimes I feel powerless.
But, after all these years I am not crying over Fiona’s IEP and difficulties around mainstreaming. I feel that the course I’ve taken has only taken me so far and it’s time to push on. There’s no more time to waste. My voice needs to be heard, Fiona’s voice needs to be heard loud and clear. We are learning how to do that. There needs to be a change in DHH mainstream education. During the pandemic, the barriers to education that normally exist for DHH students are amplified. The isolation from masks and social distancing make communication impossible in the outside world. I think this is a National Issue.