POW: Rachel Ebner, 11


Betsy Wait

Junior Rachel Ebner signs with her interpreter, Kathy LaBoo before history class.

“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”

“I would just say: be the best person that you can be. If you see somebody who is sitting by themselves, try to involve them. Just be friends with everybody.”

“What experience in life has taught you this lesson?”

“Well, I’m deaf and because of that I have learned that life is just so much better being with people and being friends with everyone.”

“Do you ever perceive a barrier between hearing and deaf people?”

“Sometimes when hearing people don’t understand, they can be a little distant or put out. Hearing and deaf culture are two different things and you have to make the best of what you have.”

“What is unique about deaf culture that hearing people wouldn’t know about?”

“When deaf people get together in a group and sign, it’s so much more emotional, it’s almost like acting.”

“What are your plans for the future?”

“I want to go to college and major in education. I want to work for a masters degree in deaf education.”

“What inspired you to pursue a career in deaf education?”

“When I was young I’d always play school and I’d be the teacher and my dolls would be the students. Its really just something i’ve always enjoyed.

“What are your currently doing to get real world experience?”

“I work at the YMCA.”

“What are the difficult and easy parts of your job?”

“The first time I met them we had to learn to work with each other, I often had to write notes down from things like our phone conversations. As time goes on we teach other how to communicate, I teach them signs and it works out pretty well

“What roles does your job entail?”

“I work in the day care center, watching little kids, while their parents are at the YMCA working out or doing other activities.

“Have kids ever commented on you being deaf?”

“Yeah, sometimes kids will see a ‘weird thing’ hanging off of my ear and be curious to what it is. It’s just my implant but they don’t understand that right away. But we explained it to them that I am deaf and can’t hear and they would get really excited and say, ‘ooh cool!’”