Meeting the Challenge of Deafness

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In an article titled "2 Deaf Men Welcome Challenge of Taking Pilot's Seat" that appeared in the October 3, 2006 Star-Bulletin, author Helen Altonn tells of the challenges that 2 deaf pilots had in pursuing their dream of flying. Altonn tells us that the pilots, Ed Chevy and Marvin Cooper, shared similar passions as well similar obstacles.


However, Cooper's will and passion for flying won out. For Chevy, his love of flying has been hitched to his need to be involved. After graduating from college in California, he sought out a new home. Chevy states, "Something about Hawaii attracted me. It wasn't the tradewinds or sun. It was something about the deaf community". The challenge of the deaf is to find support from the world around, through friends, family, and community.
Being hearing impaired is a challenge in today's world. Often, the deaf are limited not by what they can do but by the perceptions of what the world thinks they should do. Cooper's family initially discouraged him from trying to be a pilot, yet he was able to persist and learn to fly. However, he did not do it alone. As he said in the article, "At 14, every Saturday I snuck out and would go to flight school, learning how to fly. A very sweet man named Charley took me under his wing." In spite of the challenge, someone was there to help him face it and guide him through it.
For the hearing impaired, a little help sometimes goes a long way. Though Cooper and Chevy are unusual in their quest for flying, the common bond of deafness may entice others to join in their challenge. Both men have shown an interest in starting a club for deaf pilots and the concept of support groups may be a great benefit. ...
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