Locked Out!

Chinyere Kalu
Posted September 8, 2020 from Nigeria

I had excitedly submitted my name for a Speech Contest in my club as a ToastMaster.In preparatory to this event,I had read wide and broad,watched past constest videos on YouTube and made notes.

On the appointed day, I had set up my laptop as this was an online event.

Boom! My computer audio won't come on.I was seeing everyone on my screen and they could see me yet I couldn't hear them even as they spoke to me.I tried all I knew to fix it but to no avail.

I felt helpless and for once in my life I understood what the deaf people go through.I understood how much they yearn to talk but because they can't be heard most just keep quiet and use the sign language. How people can talk to you, talk about you right in your face and you can't hear them.

It dawned on me that having a hearing impairdiment can distrupt one's life.I was there for the contest yet couldn't participate due to lose of my computer audio.I was locked out of the competition because I could not hear.

Now more than ever before,

I appreciate the gift of functional sense organs.

I realised that am blessed to have them.

Let us show more love to those living with disability for it is not a pleasant place to find one's self.

Comments 3

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Tamarack Verrall
Sep 08
Sep 08

Hello Chinyere,
This is such an important message to us all. How frustrating for you after all that preparation work, and to be so close but not able to participate. What really touches me deeply is that you immediately put yourself in the shoes of people who have hearing impairments. Collectively we need to figure out how to undo these barriers that people with disabilities live with. Sign language interpretation. At the least, subtitles/text of what is being said. We have a long way to go and it is through stories like this one that we are all prompted to figure out new ways. I do hope that another ToastMaster event is available to you soon, for your important voice.

Hello, Chinyere,

Bless you, dear, for your empathy! That must be a frustrating experience when technology failed you at the prime moment. It could have been a breakthrough, or a chance to win that ToastMaster contest. But I commend you, dear sister, for empathizing rather than sulking. I'm sure there are better opportunities for you, and your preparation for that contest is not in vain. You turn this event into a life lesson. Thank you for speaking up on behalf of those who have hearing impairment.

Nini Mappo
Sep 08
Sep 08

Hello Chinyere,

I'm sorry to hear of your frustrating experience with your computer audio, but glad that you have redeemed it so powerfully to extend understanding and compassion to those who may feel not only locked out of an event, but out of life itself.

What a valuable connection, thank you sharing this insight and reminder with us.