We’re continuing our series at the Athlete’s Voices event which highlights exceptional athletes doing extraordinary things in the world. Today’s guest is Jen Southall, a certified hockey coach for the Portland Winterhawks and a disabled representative for the Junior Hockey Association and several other sports associations. She has more than 25 years of experience playing hockey and advocating for the accessibility of the deaf community.

Playing sports as a deaf person came with its challenges. Jen was always the only deaf person on her team. She started playing at a young age, but she didn’t have full access to people who could help her communicate until high school. She had to rely on her teammates to look out for her. She mostly stopped playing hockey after high school, but when her son wanted to start playing hockey — and wanted his mom to coach him — she started looking into how she could make access for that. It wasn’t until she entered that world that she realized how little advocacy there is for the deaf community.

The challenges the deaf community face are many, and most of them are invisible to us. Jennifer asks us to imagine a family gathering with people around the dinner table, everyone’s laughing, but nobody has taken the time to share what they’re laughing about. It can be very isolating. And finding environments that accommodate the deaf experience is difficult.

 

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Respect the deaf community. Respect our language. Respect our culture. And give us the platform, not you running a platform for us, because it’s not your place. Let deaf people have our place.”

 

 

Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Podcasts to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.

 

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TRANSCRIPT:

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Jennifer Southall: [00:00:00] Be willing to listen to what the deaf community wants and not what you think they want, because we know for ourselves better than anyone else. We live this experience, not you.

Richard Shuster: [00:00:20] Hello, and welcome to The Daily Helping with Dr. Richard Shuster, food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, tools to win at life. I’m your host, Dr. Richard. Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, and whatever you do, this is the show that is going to help you become the best version of yourself. Each episode, you will hear from some of the most amazing, talented, and successful people on the planet who followed their passions and strived to help others. Join our movement to get a million people each day to commit acts of kindness for others. Together, we’re going to make the world a better place. Are you ready? Because it’s time for your Daily Helping. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Daily Helping Podcast. I’m your host, Doctor Richard. And I’m really excited to do this episode today. This is one of our athlete’s voices at The Daily Helping series, where we are featuring exceptional athletes doing exceptional things in the world. And our guest today is Jenn Southall, and she is a certified hockey coach for the Portland Winterhawks, and a Disabled Representative for the Junior Hockey Association. And Jen has more than 25 years of experience playing hockey and advocating for the accessibility of the deaf community. And so, this is a really cool podcast for me because Jen —

Jennifer Southall: [00:01:53] Twenty-five years. And I’ve been actually advocating for a lot of different kinds of sports accessibility, basketball, baseball, soccer, field hockey.

Richard Shuster: [00:02:03] We’re going to talk about it. We’ll talk about all of it. What’s really cool is that – you can’t see this because this is audio – I’ve got two interpreters in the room with me. And through the magic of audio engineering, we’re going to bring to you Jen’s story because she is not able to speak or hear, but she can sign. So, Jen, the first question I want to ask of you is, I would love for you to tell your story. Let’s talk about growing up, and I want to start with your hearing loss. Is that lifelong or did that develop later?

Jennifer Southall: [00:02:44] Well, I was born hard of hearing, so I’m the first hard of hearing or deaf person in my family. So, there doesn’t appear to be any, like, genetic reasoning for it. But I grew up, and I had hearing infections when I was very young, and so that’s what caught my progressive hearing loss because I kept getting hearing infections over and over again probably until, like, my early 20s. And so, now I’m completely deaf.

Richard Shuster: [00:03:16] Okay. And growing up as a child with hearing loss but playing sports, tell us about that because, especially hockey, that’s very interesting.

Jennifer Southall: [00:03:28] Regarding sports in general, like I said, I was always the only deaf person on my team and sometimes it’s kind of lucky because I had family members and I had uncles and things like that who played sports who coached me in baseball. And so, they would know some signs to support me, but I never really had full access to communication with them. Probably until high school, I didn’t have really full access, and so I started running running track then, and I also played field hockey. And there, they were legally required to provide a sign language interpreter, so I had access there, and that was really the first time where I felt like I had official access into sports. And after high school, I didn’t really play sports anymore. I enjoyed my college years and I did some community sports, like different amateur leagues and that kind of thing, just for fun, as far as like field hockey and that kind of thing. And there was obviously no real formal access there. Luckily, I did have good teammates, though, who looked out for me, and best when we had text messaging on our phones and that kind of thing. But outside the field, when you need to communicate with someone, you use your eyes and you really use that visual clue to appropriately connect and respond to what’s happening. And so, you don’t necessarily need to communicate verbally with your team, you know what I mean? Because there are other ways that we can communicate. And I think that deaf people can have sometimes quicker reactions visually to some things because we tend to know what’s happening because we’re taking the notes from our environment in general.

Richard Shuster: [00:05:32] You’ve been in hockey for 25 years, you said you enjoyed college years, you went away from hockey, tell us what brought you back to hockey.

Jennifer Southall: [00:05:45] My kid. My son was running the play. And he got started to learn to skate and he was so cute learning to play hockey. And then, I think when he was about eight years old, he said if I could be his coach. He said, "Mom, I want you to be my coach, too." And so, I was figuring out how I could really do that. How could I create access for that? And so, I talked to one of my friends who was a state director trying to figure out what we could do so I could be my son’s coach. And they were like, "Don’t worry about it. We can put you through this training. We’ll register you as a coach and we’ll figure it all out." And so, I went through that process and I became a coach. And for the first two years, I didn’t have really any language access. And then, for the third season, that’s when they finally gave me a sign language interpreter. So, it’s been a really interesting experience. But last year, I coached fulltime for my son’s team with a fulltime sign language interpreter as well. It was really nice. It was a really great experience. And this year, I am not coaching because my son is actually on a traveling team this year. And so, I’m just enjoying, I’m watching from the stands as he plays. But I do miss coaching. I really enjoyed getting to work with the kids and seeing them learn and enjoy the game.

Richard Shuster: [00:07:32] I would love to hear – because I know this is important to you and you alluded to it earlier – about the advocacy work you’re doing.

Jennifer Southall: [00:07:43] I’ve started doing it, I guess, since 2020, but because everything kind of shut down, and so I was sitting at home all day with my kid and I’m helping them with schoolwork, and that kind of thing, and trying to figure out what else I can do. And access was really cut off for a lot of people at that time. For deaf people, there was a lot of isolation during lockdown because we couldn’t go out and meet other people in the deaf community. And Zoom and FaceTime, they’re good, but deaf people, really, when we communicate, we use our body language a lot. And you can’t really get that full experience through a video like Zoom, you know what I mean? So, it just feels kind of strange to communicate that way. And so, really, there was no access. And I started to think more about what access actually means. And then, the George Floyd murder happened and there were all these people who were so angry and fighting for justice. And I was like, "Why don’t we have anything like this for the deaf community?" We don’t really see, like, White deaf people really advocating for things like this, for racial equity, for people of color. And where is the outrage for that? And it’s a problem. But generally in the community, that kind of stuff just gets pushed to the side and doesn’t really get talked about as a big deal. They talk more about autism as the primary deaf community’s issue. And so, it doesn’t really make sense to me. Like, we need to focus on the real issues that are affecting people, and accessibility, and there are societal issues with this access.

Richard Shuster: [00:09:40] And you’re exactly right, you know, in my life, I’ve never heard anybody, one, use the term autism; two, no media, no setting have I ever heard anybody complain about this. And so, you’re bringing this awareness to light, which is important. Do you happen to know – I’m curious – the numbers, the percentage of the population that has significant hearing loss?

Jennifer Southall: [00:10:13] What, globally? I’m not sure of the numbers exactly, but I think it’s probably 20 percent of the global population —

Richard Shuster: [00:10:23] That high.

Jennifer Southall: [00:10:23] … that has some sort of hearing loss, yeah.

Richard Shuster: [00:10:26] Wow.

Jennifer Southall: [00:10:27] It’s huge.

Richard Shuster: [00:10:29] It really is. And there’s no formal group. I mean, I know there’s the ADA, but there’s no formal group that’s really advocating specifically for people with profound hearing loss.

Jennifer Southall: [00:10:43] Well, we have NAD, it’s a civil rights organization, the National Association of the Deaf. And they fight for deaf rights, and deaf education, public access, and that kind of thing. There are a lot of issues that they advocate for. So, the NAD is pretty similar to the ACLU, which a lot of people are familiar for, but they advocate for deaf issues.

Richard Shuster: [00:11:12] Obviously, we can’t walk a mile in your shoes, but for the purposes of those listening who maybe really haven’t thought about what having profound hearing loss, how it impacts you on a day-to-day basis, I mean, there are some things that, obviously, watching television or just these things that we think about or that would seem self-evident. But share with us some of the adversity that somebody who’s deaf would experience, that maybe somebody who has hearing wouldn’t think about the challenges that they face.

Jennifer Southall: [00:11:51] Well, think about, like, a dinner table, for example. Let’s imagine the Thanksgiving dinner. You have the whole family set out at a big table, family and friends all gathered around, and there’s one person at that dinner table. Everyone’s talking and joking and sharing, and no one is telling the deaf person what’s going on. Everyone’s laughing, and the deaf person doesn’t know what’s being said, what is so funny. Nothing is being shared at the table. And so, really, deaf people are being excluded from that socialization, from that social experience. And so, they’re deprived of that experience. So, there can be a lot of deprivation of socialization with family, with friends. I think a lot of deaf people, either they fully get ingrained and invested with the deaf community or they get isolated from the deaf community. It seems to be one or the other. Because only if you have family members and friends who learned sign language where you get that access, where you can be able to communicate with them. So, that’s just like a basic real world scenario.

Richard Shuster: [00:13:14] So, when you say isolated from the deaf community, what do you mean by that?

Jennifer Southall: [00:13:20] I think, like, 90 percent of deaf people are born to hearing families. And so, often, that hearing family, the first deaf person they’ve ever meet is the baby, is a child. And so, that family doesn’t know what to do. They don’t know anything about deaf culture or deaf identity. And now with Federal law, all babies born in the United States and hospitals actually have an immediate hearing test administered. And so, often, families don’t get any exposure to the deaf community, to deaf adults, deaf people, socially or culturally, through interpreters or education because for that family, the first time they’re getting any news about deafness is from that hearing test. And you have a doctor who comes and says how sorry they are that this awful thing has happened to you, that your baby has failed a hearing test. And, often, they send a social worker in to share information and they give you resources. But, often, those resources are talking about curing your baby’s deafness and giving them a cochlear implant or hearing aid, or encouraging you not to teach them sign language, teach them to speak instead. And so, many social workers have no idea about deaf history, deaf culture, deaf identity, and so that’s what I mean. Really, these people are highly influenced by the Alexander Graham Bell Group, and there’s so much culture and history related to that. But simply, AG Bell, he was an advocate for eugenics. He wanted to erase deafness from humanity. He wanted to erase the deaf identity. And so, we are still feeling the damage from those efforts from years and years and years ago, 150 years ago. And so, this community is finally starting to recover from that damage. And that’s only started back in the 1970s. And we’re still working through it and we’re still here today.

Richard Shuster: [00:16:01] I want to go a little bit deeper into that because, you know, you go to your school and you are studying famous Americans. You learned about Alexander Graham Bell and the invention that he made that changed the world, right?

Jennifer Southall: [00:16:14] The telephone.

Richard Shuster: [00:16:15] Yes. Right. Because I’m certainly ignorant to this, so you mentioned his interest in eugenics. I know nothing of this. Could you share in a little bit of depth what Alexander Graham Bell did to the deaf community?

Jennifer Southall: [00:16:31] It’s really interesting how history works and how the winners write the story afterwards, because you don’t get the full story. But Alexander Graham Bell, he came from a deaf family. His mother was deaf. His wife was also deaf. I’m not sure if he had deaf children or not. But he was a CODA, he was a child of deaf adults. And I think his father was a doctor, if I’m not mistaken. And so, they had that perspective of deafness is bad, deafness needs to be erased. And so, Alexander Graham Bell’s mother actually experienced that kind of language deprivation that I talked about and wasn’t really able to be a parent in her family. And that trickled down to Alexander Graham Bell. He obviously became very famous and successful. But what he experienced growing up actually influenced him to eventually marry a deaf person himself and try to change them. And he didn’t feel that having a deaf family is a positive thing and he tried to destroy it. And so, with the Milan Conference on Deafness, he was a very strong advocate for Oralism, teaching deaf people to speak and hear. And he wanted deaf people to be in the hearing world. And they believed that learning sign language was a bad thing. So, he attended that Milan conference. But in the process of that, AG Bell actually banned Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc. Both of them were very strong advocates for deaf people, and developing very strong figures, and developing American Sign Language as a language. And he banned the two of them actually from even attending that convention on deafness, because the topic of discussion was going to be deaf education globally and how we approach teaching deaf children language. And so, all of that was going to be discussed and decided at that conference. So, the people who ended up running the conference were all supporters of Oralism who wanted deaf people to hear and speak. And they basically just threw out all of deaf history and the richness of deaf language development and erased it. And after that, I think for probably the next hundred years or so, Oralism was the way for teaching deaf children. No one was teaching deaf children sign language in school. And it was an awful time for deaf people. There was a lot of abuse. I’ve heard stories from deaf elders who’ve told me things about when they were younger and going to school with nuns and that kind of thing, they were actually physically abused if they were caught using sign language. They were physically punished for trying to use their language. And it was an awful experience for so many of them in the way that they were teaching them and trying to erase their language and their communication at the same time. So, there’s a lot more to this history. But up until about the 1970s, that’s how it was. And then, things started to change a bit for the better. And we had got IDEA, a federal law regarding deaf education and making sure that children get the appropriate kind of education. And so, children deserve language access and American Sign Language and that kind of thing. So, that’s been building since about the ’70s. I’m actually part of the first generation of deaf people who got educated under both the IDEA and the ADA. And, really, I’m 35, so consider that. And the ADA has only been around for about 30 years.

Richard Shuster: [00:21:14] In what ways do we still need to improve in that regard?

Jennifer Southall: [00:21:20] Support American Sign Language full language access starting from birth. I really wish that there were more deaf social workers who could be in those medical environments and called once that challenge is found for that family and be able to introduce it to them in a different way. Give them information about deaf mentors, and deaf communities, and deaf language, and deaf children, and what programs are available for their children that their kids can learn how to speak if that’s something that the family chooses. But they can have both. They can have spoken language and sign language. And then, when they’re old enough, they can choose for themselves how they want to communicate, whether they want to speak or sign. But it’s not the parent’s decision. It should be that individual’s decision to decide what’s best for themselves. And I speak and I can hear, but I also sign, and I prefer to sign for communication because that’s how I get to fully be myself to communicate.

Richard Shuster: [00:22:35] Many years ago, when I was just starting this show, I was privileged to interview Temple Grandin, who was one of the most well-known people in the world with autism. And I asked her a really provocative question that I’m about to ask you, because there were many people who are hunting for the cure for autism, and I asked her what she felt about that. And her reaction was, if there wasn’t autism, we wouldn’t have iPhones, we wouldn’t have many of the things we have today.

Jennifer Southall: [00:23:12] She’s right. She’s absolutely right.

Richard Shuster: [00:23:14] So, I’m going to ask you the same thing, as there are medical scientists looking for ways to permanently cure hearing loss, if that were available today and it was placed in front of you, what would your reaction to it be?

Jennifer Southall: [00:23:29] I would say hell, no. I mean, all of my life I’ve been deaf and it’s a part of my identity. It’s who I am. I struggled with things as a kid figuring out how to accept myself as a person and as a deaf person within my family. But I play sports, and on all my teams everybody else is hearing. And so, I’ve definitely had struggles with my identity probably up until my 30s. And that’s when I really started feeling comfortable with myself as a deaf person and a deaf adult. And it took me years and years and years. And now, I’m okay. I’m deaf and that’s okay. And it’s just a fact and there’s nothing to do to change it.

Richard Shuster: [00:24:22] I knew that was going to be your answer. I’m smiling as you’re saying this.

Jennifer Southall: [00:24:26] Deafness, for me, isn’t genetic. But I knew as I was growing up, I straddled the fence a little bit between the deaf world and the hearing world, and it was a really interesting experience growing up. My parents wouldn’t put me in a deaf school. From their perspective, they said, "You’ve got to learn how to function in a hearing world now, not later." And so, they always had me in school with other hearing children in public schools. So, it gave me good life skills. Did I miss out not having full access to my community? Yes. But at the same time, I don’t feel sorry about it. You know what I mean?

Richard Shuster: [00:25:18] I’d love for you to share some of the struggles that you experienced in your youth and share how you overcame them. Because I’m sure there are skills that people, hearing loss or not, could benefit from knowing, and I would love for you to share that with us.

Jennifer Southall: [00:25:37] For me as a kid, I’m the only deaf person in my family. My mom learned how to sign. She was the only one, the only one in my family who truly learned how to sign. Some of my family could do, like, very basic words or signs, but none of them really fully learned sign language. It’s very interesting, see the power dynamics that play with that? Because my mother could communicate with me and so it was kind of isolating in my family because nobody else could truly communicate with me. My mother learned how to sign, but it was a personal choice for everyone. And so, it’s like because there’s a family member who needs this communication, but not everyone chose it. So, it’s like, what does that mean for us as a family? What does a family look like? Because I know they’re my blood family, they’re my birth family. But I don’t have that strong connection because of the lack of communication like I’ve seen with other kids and their families. So, it’s really interesting growing up that way. Because I know my family, I know who they are, but they didn’t behave like what a family should really behave like. It’s a very common story like mine in the deaf community, where, when someone becomes 18, they really just let go of their birth family and they’re just like, "I’m done with that because you didn’t even make the effort to ever get to know me as I was growing up. And now that I’m an adult, I can leave. Goodbye." And it’s kind of sad, but that happens a lot, unfortunately, in the deaf culture. Because families who actually care, that may not be the same people as your blood family, as your birth family. Because family is supposed to accept you and communicate with you and talk to you, and usually that’s your blood family, your actual family. But growing up, it was a struggle. Because I have my identity and then it’s like, "Okay. I’m a disabled person in my family, and my family doesn’t definitely fully accept me as a disabled person in this family." So, it’s a little like, "Yes, my family, I have them. It’s fine. But there’s no perfect family." And so, there are some families, there’s nothing wrong with their child, like, they would have that perspective of it. But then, there’s that ableism that’s built into society that permeates the family that takes over. And so, that definitely influences everything. So, as a kid, they have to think about that. It’s very complicated having that identity and then think about how you fit into your family, how do you fit into your culture, and then adding sports onto that. And as I became an adult, I started to really think more and look more at myself and think about what it means for me. Particularly when I became a parent as well, thinking like, "Okay. This is different." It’s like I couldn’t even call everyone in my family to talk to them about my kid because it’s like no one has the perspective of a deaf parent. There’s no one who really understands what I’m going through as a deaf parent. So, I reached out to other deaf friends I know. But we all have CODAs and we all have hearing children, and so we built our own community about learning from one another. And that’s who I think of as my parenting network instead of my family. So, it’s a different experience being the parent of a child and then your whole perspective change, people talk about that. And how I think about family definitely changed because it’s like, "What the hell? What’s wrong with you all? Why didn’t you do this for a child?" You know what I mean?

Richard Shuster: [00:30:27] Thank you for sharing that. I’m curious, now you’re in your 30s, you’re a mom, and you’ve really been able to embrace your hearing loss, embrace your deafness. And your sense of self, the way you described it is that you’re good in your skin. You’re good with who you are. I’m curious, have you been able to repair that relationship with your birth family?

Jennifer Southall: [00:30:56] It’s really more like surface and superficial at this point. It’s like you say, "Hi. Happy Holidays," and that kind of thing. We see each other. Maybe I go visit, you know, during the holiday time. But I’d rather do my own thing with my friends and my family who can actually communicate with me. Because, to be honest, I don’t like to go visit with them because I’m like that scenario I talked about before, I’m sitting there by myself like a kid. And nobody wants to experience that again as an adult. You know what I mean? I don’t want to put myself back in that kind of situation. And so, I’d rather not. I can stay home and do my own thing or have fun with my own kid, do something that I enjoy for the holidays. Because the holidays should be a time for enjoying yourself and not feeling stressed about visiting family and figuring out how I’m going to communicate with all of them. You know what I mean? Because the communication burden is shifted entirely to me instead of them, so I’d rather not. I’m 35. I don’t want to be responsible for that anymore. I’ve had enough of that and I have enough on my plate, and so I’d rather not. But I do send, like, holiday cards and send family pictures, and that kind of thing, but that’s it. That’s all I can do with my family at this point.

Richard Shuster: [00:32:37] For somebody listening to this who may know somebody with hearing loss or just wants to get involved, just wants to be able to be more understanding, be more helpful to the deaf community, give us a couple of quick action items that somebody could take.

Jennifer Southall: [00:32:54] Be willing to listen to what the deaf community wants and not what you think they want, because we know for ourselves better than anyone else. We live this experience, not you.

Richard Shuster: [00:33:07] So, you know, I would love to hear just more overall of your journey as an athlete being deaf, because you’ve been playing sports. You played sports since you were very young. And so, tell us what that was like. Tell us it all, because it’s just so different than other athletes in a lot of ways.

Jennifer Southall: [00:33:32] As a deaf athlete, I felt very isolated, particularly when I was young in sports. I had really great coaches and support and that kind of thing, but everybody was hearing. And so, I know that people tend to be very visual learners. And I can hear a little bit, but most of the time I just get, like, small pieces of feedback on adjustments and that kind of thing. I never really got that because coaches couldn’t really communicate with me about detailed small things. And so, I kind of had to just copy what I saw other people doing, and going through practices and drills, and that kind of thing. That’s how I learned the games. And then, around high school, that’s when I actually started getting feedback because I finally had an interpreter. And so, they would call the interpreter over and explain. They’ll be like, "Okay. You have to change this, this, and this." And then, I would get that feedback from my coaches. And I think, for me, I was thinking, "Why didn’t I learn this when I was younger?" It’s like, "Why am I getting this feedback that I needed way back then? I’ve built all these bad habits over the years that I’m trying to break now." But no one took the time to explain to me that was a bad habit, that I shouldn’t have been doing things like that. I should have done it like this, and et cetera. And then, after high school, like I said, I didn’t play college sports or anything like that. I just kind of did club sports out in the community just for social stuff with friends and beer leagues, and that kind of thing. And then, there was the national women’s deaf team. Everyone on that team was deaf for hockey. So, the U.S. National Deaf Women’s Hockey Team. And, ironically, most of those people did not sign. Most of them were oral. I think there were three of us, technically two teammates, who are my age as well, those were the only two people who knew sign language on the team. And so, I was kind of like, "Oh, this kind of feels almost the same like all my other sports teams when I was growing up," because we were all deaf, but we still didn’t all share a language. We couldn’t really build those very strong, deep relationships because I couldn’t communicate with some of them because they couldn’t sign. But, really, we represented the range and the gamut of who deaf people are. So, a lot of people don’t realize what that means to be a deaf person. It includes a lot of things. It includes the culture and all that kind of stuff, but it builds. And then, regarding football, I’m the only deaf player on my team. But I do have a really great interpreter on my team, and that helps a lot. My teammates are all really wonderful, some of them have learned some sign language. And it’s really nice, so we can get by. We don’t need the interpreter all the time because some of them have learned to sign, which is nice. My coach can sign a bit. And it’s really nice to have that collective effort and to feel included and to feel fully ingrained within the team. And so, honestly, this football team is really the first time in my life where I felt like really equal with all my teammates, and it’s very nice.

Richard Shuster: [00:37:54] Jen, this has been illuminating for me. I’m certainly never going to look at the telephone again after this. One of the things I do every episode is I ask my guest their biggest helping, and that is the single most important piece of information you’d like somebody to walk away with after hearing our conversation today.

Jennifer Southall: [00:38:16] There’s so much I want to say. I think the best way to summarize it, though, would be to respect the deaf community, respect our language, respect our culture. And give us the platform. Not you running a platform for us because it’s not your place. Let deaf people have our place. And that’s it.

Richard Shuster: [00:38:45] Well said. Jen, where can people find out about you online?

Jennifer Southall: [00:38:51] I have Twitter, but I don’t tweet much. But I try to keep up with what’s happening with the Ravens. But you can also find me on LinkedIn. And I have Instagram as well.

Richard Shuster: [00:39:06] Perfect.

Jennifer Southall: [00:39:07] Most of the time my Instagram is more focused on football with the team, and promoting our games, and that kind of thing, and the season. So, my Instagram was definitely more football focused. My LinkedIn is focused on my advocacy work.

Richard Shuster: [00:39:26] Okay. And we’ll have that link for sure in the show notes at thedailyhelping.com so people can keep up with the work that you’re doing to advocate for the deaf community. Jen, this has been a really great experience for me and I learned a lot, so I hope everybody listening to this did too. Thank you so much for coming on The Daily Helping today.

Jennifer Southall: [00:39:49] I am so happy to be here. I really appreciate being invited to this conversation.

Richard Shuster: [00:39:53] Absolutely.

Jennifer Southall: [00:39:55] I’m very happy to share whatever information I have and educate people with new facts. I’m the kind of person who I want people to realize how much history the deaf community has and what we can offer. A lot of people don’t think about that part. It’s very important for me to see people like Nyle DiMarco on Dancing with the Stars and that kind of thing. That’s only a small part of the deaf community that is good. But there are a lot of different kinds of people in the deaf community, and you should look for that difference in diversity and not just be satisfied with the one picture that you’ve been shown. It needs to be bigger.

Richard Shuster: [00:40:40] Well, hopefully, everybody listening to this will have a bit of a different perspective because of you. Jen, thank you so much again for being on the show. And I also want to thank each and every one of you who took time out of your day to listen to our conversation. If you liked it, if you learned something, go give us a follow on Apple Podcasts and leave us a five star review, because that is what helps other people find this show. But most importantly, go out there today and do something nice for somebody else, even if you don’t know who they are. And post in your social media feeds using the #mydailyhelping because the happiest people are those that help others.

 

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