I finally got some responses from Deaf college students or college grads after posting an ad about discussing Deaf Culture and the Cochlear Implant.
The meeting went well and these three were incredibly patient with my suuuuuper slow and inaccurate ASL. I wish Rico came to this meeting it was eye opening.
Here are a few things that were helpful to know.
1- Stella has traveled to many countries after she graduated, she volunteered in Nepal and told me people in other countries have soon much patience and are happy to find a way to communicate. She said she had as easy a time as any foreign traveler that doesn't speak the native language in any country they visit. She said she never felt afraid or uncomfortable and met many other Deaf people during her travels.
2- I asked some questions about general safety and they all told me they don't feel like being Deaf makes them more vulnerable in any way and that in fact they are hyper aware and sensitive to their environment. Super alert and are some of the best drivers and bicyclist.
3- Two went to mainstream college where accommodations were made for them in the classroom. They had technology and not takers to assist them.
4- one has an implant the other two don't, she says people don't judge her for having one and that she signs and speaks and that she like to be able to hear music and environmental sounds but that sometimes she wants quiet and will turn it off. She said she is glad she got one but said she does wish she got it when she was a bit younger.
She says many of her friends chose nit to get one, like Stella and Andrew and she understands why.
Andrew told me how strongly he feels about how I'm giving Micah the foundation of ASL and that he thinks I shouldn't sign and speak at the same time. I found that interesting as you hear different opinions on this all the time.
I asked them what I can do to help Micah get the best education and got different answers but what stood out is that I must be a vigilant advocate for him and that the best school is CASD. (already planning on sending him there) and that mainstream school is OK but not the best for him socially.
They also said WA School for the Deaf in Vancouver is no good and behind academically... good to know! This was the best meeting I have had yet and I'm sooo glad I met these guys their info was so valuable!