Mar 18, 2019
The NDC logo appears in the bottom right corner and the screen is framed with a thick teal line. White text reads “Carlos’ Story Summer Camp.”
A Latino with a broad smile and hearing aids sits in an office. He’s wearing a crisp white tee shirt and blue blazer. Behind him are 3 computer monitors, a desk, shelf, and some art on the wall and shelf, including a rainbow peace sign and a ceramic baseball-themed wax warmer.
Hi, my name is Carols. I was born deaf to deaf parents. I was mainstreamed my entire life, then attended college here in New York, Baruch College.
As a mainstreamed student, I had no knowledge of deaf summer camps.Youth Leadership Camp, which is a very well-known camp in the deaf community, was completely foreign to me until I went to college.
In middle school or high school I went to Florida to spend some time with my mother. She enrolled me in a traditional summer camp. She thought because I was mainstreamed that I would get along perfectly fine in a camp full of hearing students.
She hadn’t considered the fact that I had interpreters at school.That afternoon, when my mom picked me up, I was physically sick to the point of vomiting. I broke down because I was so overwhelmed, feeling lost among all of those hearing campers. I felt very alone and refused to go back. I still vividly remember that feeling. The feeling of….being completely clueless as to what was going on the entire day. I suffered through those 7 hours. *ugh* I did not enjoy that experience. Many years later, I went to work at a deaf summer camp and was immediately blown away. I was incredibly moved seeing how effortlessly everyone communicated, 24/7. The staff was deaf, the campers were deaf. When I say “staff”, I mean everyone: the kitchen staff, the lifeguards, the referees, everyone was deaf and wow it was vastly different from being the only deaf person in a sea of hearing people.I’m sure you can only imagine what that experience was like for a 13-year-old boy.
NDC Logo appears above text, black lettering on a white background: nationaldeafcenter.org
“This video was developed under a jointly-funded grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) #HD326D160001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the federal government.”
Next to it, three logos appear. The first reads “IDEAs that Work” with an arrow drawing a circle from “IDEAs” to “Work” and the words “U.S. Office of Special Education Programs”. The second logo shows a red-and-blue star with text next to it that reads “TA&D”. The third logo shows a blue circle around a tree. In the blue circle are the words “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.”