Deafblind Awareness Month: Melissa’s Story

The following is a transcript from Melissa Merrell’s Deafblind Awareness Month video.

What does Deafblind Awareness mean to me? Helen Keller…She’s an amazing woman who achieved many goals in her life. When I think of her, my eyes start to water because of the movies I watched of her with her teacher

I knew I was going to be deafblind later in life. At the moment, I was a young child with a hearing impairment, and I felt connected with Helen Keller and I cried. The fear of the unknown, tears came down. As a child you have no clue how or what to do as a deafblind person. If it were not for Helen Keller, we would not have a Deafblind Awareness Month. It’s important for the deafblind community to be recognized around the world. We are human beings with different talents. We can do most things like traveling, communicating, exercising, other thing. Sharing our experience gives others hope, faith, encouraged to be somebody, regardless of our blindness and deafness. We got the disability for a reason.

Austin Lighthouse has a few deafblind employees. Do not worry. We will hire additional employees. Deafblind employees are the most dedicated and devoted workers. Our blindness and deafness do not stop us. We keep going. We reach our goals. Terry, Albert, Diane, Reuban…Reuban’s my brother…make an impact. And me…especially Diana. We call each other sister. We’re aware what and how we can handle certain situations at work and in personal life. It’s great to have someone to relate and share our experiences with others. It’s important to us to expose the deafblind community.

Terry, Albert, Reuban…always ready to conquer the day at work as a direct worker.  Diana and I are indirect workers. We show our coworkers we get the job done. In the end, it is important to have a Deafblind Awareness Month. It needs to be stronger and better. The Austin Lighthouse will accommodate for us no doubt. Plus, I will make sure it gets done, as well as Angie Hall. Angie is our greatest supporter for all the deafblind.

Remember who we are. Think of us. We can do it; you can do it. Thank you.

Watch Melissa’s video below.