Nyle DiMarco Visits Penn State For His Tell All Journey
Nyle DiMarco visited Penn State Friday night as a part of the SPA Day 2017 line up for this weekend. He gave an inspiring lecture in Heritage Hall about his life growing up as a deaf child. DiMarco was raised in a family with 24 other deaf family members. He was fully immersed in the deaf community, attended deaf schools, and learned American Sign Language.
However, he began to realize that not everyone who was deaf was as privileged as he was. DiMarco said that about 70 million people worldwide are deaf, and only two percent of them have access to resources specifically for them.
DiMarco attended four different schools, not including Gallaudet University (the world’s only university for the deaf). During his earlier years, he was enrolled in a school where his peers and the faculty were not fluent in American Sign Language like him. This caused educational deprivation for him, for he could not thrive in that kind of environment.
Winning America’s Next Top Model, Dancing With The Stars, and starring on Switched at Birth gave DiMarco a bigger platform to advocate for the deaf community. He received emails from several parents in the deaf community who were crying out for help because of their lack of resources for education. DiMarco said that his goal was to inspire them, and give them access to a supportive community and learn sign language.
His purpose for founding the Nyle DiMarco Foundation is because this country simply does not provide enough resources, or even establishes a system to accommodate the deaf community. DiMarco said, “When you embrace your own identity your journey will be authentic.”
Because DiMarco was very comfortable with his deafness, he was capable of fully embracing his identity. This motivated him to help the deaf community find their identity in this society. When the lecture ended, the floor was then opened for questions.
DiMarco is embarking on a new journey of creating his own show. He explained that there are a lot of producers that are not aware of deaf culture, so making a script from their perspective would not be authentic. He plans to write his own show and make it real.
When asked about what some of the perks of being deaf were, DiMarco said, “I don’t know, I think not having to hear Trump talk.”
For more inquiries about his foundation check it out at his website here.
Photo Credit: Leo Massey