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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Hard of hearing panelists suggest solutions for City College students

Taajvi Singh
The panelists at the deaf and hard of hearing panel answer Q-and-A’s on Nov. 27 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The panelists discussed their lifestyles and struggles, and how the community can better fill the gaps.

On Monday, Nov. 27, there was a deaf and hard of hearing panel presentation at City College with panelists sharing experiences of being deaf in the world. The panel was presented to give a platform for those who are hard of hearing or deaf, and to answer about ways to make our community more accessible. The panelists were Claire Cetti, Cami Vineall and Guillermo Tavira. 

Cetti is currently learning American Sign Language and started learning along with her children. 

Sharing her difficulties, Cetti felt people often would over enunciate their words when speaking to her. 

“If I told someone I was hard of hearing they would start treating me differently,” Cetti expressed. 

Vineall is a local from Santa Barbara, graduated from Dos Pueblos High School and currently a student at City College majoring in ASL. Vineall originally didn’t know any ASL growing up, but started learning ASL at City College.

“I just become tired of communicating with people all day,” Vineall said. “It is really difficult for me to communicate and people often don’t know I am hard of hearing. Sometimes I try to hide that because it makes it more difficult for me.” 

Vineall expressed that friends usually ask her to sign curse words, and she would prefer they would be more willing to learn other words in sign language.

The third panelist, Tavira, is also a Santa Barbara local. He went to a deaf and hard of hearing school during his childhood and currently works at a Mexican restaurant owned by his family. Tavira explained his gratitude to his parents for helping him find a place to learn and grow with ASL, which helped him avoid any issues with communicating. 

Tavira grew up singing with his family because his brother is hard of hearing as well, which helped him feel “normal” growing up, surrounded by people who understood him. 

In high school, Tavira met his best friend who learned sign language from Taviraso they could communicate. 

“It’s so easy to change a deaf person’s life if you’re out there providing access,” Tavira said. “You change everything. Just learning how to say ‘Thank you,’ could be a big deal.”

Each of the panelists expressed their struggles adapting and living in a hearing society. One thing they all agreed on was that the easiest way for a hearing person to communicate with a deaf person is by text or writing it down, so that they can fully understand what the person or people are saying.

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