【文 / 鄭雅文 Alana】

I have never lived one day of my life where I was not challenged with my hearing. Everyday, I’ll come upon some obstacle that has to do with it. I’ve had trouble talking to taxi drivers, listening on the phone, and even understanding directions for where the bathroom was! Yet even with this impairment, I’ve led a successful life where I’m able to attend a good school, speak (without the use of sign language), and am surrounded by a supportive group of people. This leads to why I’m very serious about doing well in school. I know how fortunate I am to have been given this opportunity to lead a flourishing life, and I have a hopeful future for myself.

我有生以來大概沒有哪一天不因為聽力的問題而面臨某種挑戰。一定會碰到一些必須解決的難題。例如,跟計程車司機講話、講電話,甚至於聽懂別人告訴我洗手間在哪裡,這些有時並不容易。儘管我有這樣的缺陷,我認為自己的生活還是很成功的,因為我可以上很好的學校,我可以說話( 而不用借助手語 ),並且我周圍的人又是那樣的支持我,因此,我很認真的要在課業上有好的表現。我自認幸運,能有機會擁有這般健康幸福的生活,對自己的未來更充滿希望。

As one could assume, I am faced with challenges in daily school life. One prevalent example would be not hearing the teacher in the classroom. To solve this problem, I often sit up front in the classroom for louder speech. If I’m still not hearing the teacher effectively, I’ll suggest that they wear an FM, and often ask them a lot of questions to make sure I’m not missing anything important. Another example is trying to communicate with peers in heavy background noise. Almost everywhere I go in school, I find that there is background noise. It’s in cafeteria, the hallways, the courtyard, the field, and so on. The first thing all deaf kids should do to solve this problem is surround themselves with friends who accept them for who they are, and that’s exactly what I did. I made friends who had patience with me, who understood that I had a hearing problem and didn’t judge me for it. By doing so, I am around people who are willing to repeat words or sentences for me if I can’t hear them well. If I still can’t hear them in a noisy environment, I’ll suggest a quieter area such as the library or a classroom. These two examples are only a couple of the numerous problems I have faced when in school.


However, throughout my educational career, I am continually persistent in learning, and believe that there is an improvement that can be made to any problem, no matter how difficult. It does feel frustrating at times. Imagine you’re sitting on an airplane waiting to get your headphones for the TV and radio. However, when you get them and plug them in, you discover that they’re broken, and they’re the only ones that are broken. You’d feel like you had a great disadvantage. Of course you can just lie down and go to sleep for the whole ride, or you can try watching the movie and get the most out of the flight. This is the same situation here. I can simply give up and go to sleep, or I can try to watch the movie and make the flight worthwhile.


Nonetheless, I am very lucky I have people who understand this issue, and want to help me. It is important that I, along with every deaf teenager who has gotten support, appreciate it. We are lucky to have people who are willing to spend their time, jobs, and energy, helping us. We are fortunate to have families who are willing to pay for our products, and lend a helping hand along the way. Without these people, I would have probably been signing at a deaf school with an entirely different background, and a less prospective future. My advice to all the deaf kids out there is to accept yourself for who you are, and find peers who will do the same. Then, with help from them, as well as your family, live each day without giving up.

儘管面對困難的處境,我自認很幸運,有瞭解我處境而願意幫助我的人。在此要強調,包括我在內,所有接受過協助的聽損朋友都要好好的感謝這些好心人的協助。我們是幸運的,因為有一些人願意花時間、費工夫、耗精神來幫助我們。我們真的很幸運,因為家人們願意一路陪著我們,幫我們買器材,一路協助我們。沒有他們,我現在可能是在聾人學校用著手語來溝通,而會處在全然不同的境遇,未來的展望也相對有限。對於各位聽損小朋友,我衷心的建議是接受自己聽損的這件事實 : 這就是我自己。同樣的,去交往一些不因你的障礙而對你另眼相看而能夠接納你的朋友。有了他們、以及你家人的幫助,認真的過每一天,永不放棄。

編者註 : 鄭雅文(Alana)是雅文基金會創辦人喬安娜 (Joanna Nichols) 及鄭欽明先生的小女兒,原本是天生的極重度聽損兒,後來在澳洲植入人工電子耳 (單側) 並接受聽覺口語法的療育。雅文基金會便是鄭氏夫婦兩人體現同情及同理心,為照顧國內聽損兒及其家人而於十年前成立。鄭雅文現在是台北美國學校高一的學生,在課業及課外活動上都有很耀眼的表現。在走向完全融合的道路上,她樂觀而勇敢的繼續努力前進,今年的六月接受另一側的人工電子耳植入。讓我們祝福她,也祝福所有的聽損兒!