Vicki Fourie defines her life by the quote 'Courage isn't a gift, it's a decision.' Even though she has 97% hearing loss, she learnt from an early age how to speak like a hearing person and she excels in lip-reading as means of communication. Vicki is a former Miss Deaf South Africa 2009, as well as Miss Deaf International 2010 1st Princess. Currently, she's a motivational speaker.
Find out how to book her for your event at: http://vickifourie.com/
Transcript of talk:
Are You Doing The Right Thing?
Good evening everyone. I’m Vicki Fourie and I’m a former Miss Deaf South Africa, and now I’m a motivational speaker and published writer.
Tonight, my message is for all the parents out there.
My parents found out that I had 97% hearing loss when I was two years old. I was their first-born child, and it came as quite a shock to both my parents. I’m sure they felt overwhelmed and scared sometimes.
I’m sure they sometimes asked themselves what they did wrong or whether it was their fault that I had this hearing loss. They did absolutely nothing wrong. It is life, and sometimes life happens to us.
My parents had to make a lot of huge decisions about my life, such as whether to use sign language to communicate with me or teach me how speak like a hearing person.
Sometimes people would come up to my parents, my mom especially, and tell her, ‘The poor child. Why didn’t you put her in a deaf school instead of a hearing school?!’
But my parents had a different vision for my life, and it’s okay when other people don’t understand the vision. They don’t see what you see. They don’t experience what you experience.
I was in Bethlehem recently and I met a young mother who has a 10-year-old son with bilateral cochlear implants. I went up to her and told her, ‘You are doing a good job.’ She just started crying and told me that she sometimes doubts herself and how she wasn’t always sure whether her son was happy or not.
So tonight I just want to celebrate all the parents.
You might be the parent of a child with Downs Syndrome, autism, or even a child with a hearing disability or visual impairment. There’s a lot of parents in this world that has children with challenges. It could even be a learning disability.
You are doing a good job. You are making good choices. It might not feel like it. I know your children loves you, even though they might not always show it or even tell you that.
I love and honour my parents tonight, for the choices they made, for being brave and bold and daring to go into the unknown. It takes a brave person to parent a child, and you are doing great. Good job, parents.
Remember, if you have a question for any of our Own It contributors, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week we hear more from former OFM presenter, Irene Fischer.