Dreams Becoming a Reality – Craig’s Story

Chris looking at the camera

During a recent workshop Craig, a Deaf participant, indicated that it was his dream to be able to have more people in his community communicate with him in his language.

Craig told the story of Martha’s Vineyard in America, where everyone on the island was taught to sign from birth.

The Linker suggested to Craig that if he was willing to teach others, there may be some in the community who would like to take the opportunity to learn.

Craig and his Linker decided to run sessions at the local Library with 37 people attending the first session.

Initially, there was a concern that as the weeks progressed, people would lose interest and that numbers would drop off. This never happened. Craig’s friendly and humorous facilitation ensured that more and more people began to come along to the sessions.

Parents brought their children, the local bank asked for one-on-one assistance to help their deaf customers, the local pre-school started teaching the littles ones, who in turn went home and taught their parents.

For Craig the response was overwhelming and he is very excited to know that with time he will have a large network of people in his community who he could communicate with freely.

“I had always dreamed of this happening, but just didn’t know where to start to bring the change,” Craig said. “Ability Links have been amazing in supporting me to make my dream come true”.

Craig is now planning a day trip for the Inverell mob and a Queensland mob doing similar things to meet up half way for morning tea and to practise signing.

Things are well underway to turn his community into Martha’s Vineyard.