Believe in You: A Deaf Journey with Kellina Powell



Languageverse 8
This blog post is to accompany an episode of The Languageverse Podcast. Indy Vega talks with Kellina Powell who shares her inspirational story of being deaf as an entrepreneur, author, and international speaker.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Kellina Powell is a multifaceted individual. She’s a young entrepreneur, a published author of the book Every Day I Am Just Deaf, an international speaker, and a one-on-one coach for teens and young adults. Despite losing her hearing at the age of four, Kellina has an incredibly positive outlook on life, using her experience to inspire and educate others. In this podcast episode, she shares her personal journey and insightful observations about the deaf community.

Key Messages from Kellina

Kellina explains her passion for podcasts and how they provide a valuable platform, especially for marginalized voices and deaf individuals. When faced with the challenge of losing her hearing as a teenager, Kellina embraced cochlear implants. This life-changing technology reconnected her to the world. This newfound connection fuels her motivation to help and inspire others through speaking engagements and books.

  • Self-Acceptance and Embracing Your Identity: Kellina emphasizes the importance of accepting and loving yourself. Her challenges helped her develop a strong sense of self and the importance of embracing who you are.
  • Educating Others About the Deaf Community: Sharing experiences helps combat stigma and misconceptions about being deaf. Being more familiar with the culture and language opens the door to communication and understanding.
  • Overcoming Challenges and Never Giving Up: Kellina reminds us that obstacles are inherent in life. The key is to persevere, hold onto our dreams, and use hardships as fuel to pursue our aspirations.

Misconceptions About the Deaf Community

Kellina wants to break stereotypes that exist about the deaf community. Some frequently encountered include:

  • Myth: Deaf people can’t talk. Although not every person chooses to do so, deaf people can articulate sounds and learn how to speak. Using different communicative avenues is their reality and valid.
  • Myth: Deaf people need to be treated differently. Treating everyone with respect and equal regard is essential. Kellina reminds us that deaf individuals are the same as everyone else, just with a unique lens on the world.
  • Myth: Deafness is a disability. Instead of thinking of deafness as disabling, Kellina believes it’s a distinctive culture with its own language, rich traditions, and vibrant community.

The progress of technology plays a huge role in removing barriers for the deaf community. Here are some specific innovations Kellina cites as particularly effective:

  • Captioning on videos. This accessibility feature lets deaf viewers fully engage with media like television and social platforms.
  • Video calling. The visual nature of FaceTime and Zoom empowers deaf persons with seamless real-time communication options.
  • Smart devices. Features like talking into an Apple Watch to send messages provide communication opportunities without the need for typing.

Kellina suggests ways for hearing individuals to become active allies for the deaf community:

  • Learn sign language: Knowing ASL (or your local signed language) allows for respectful, accessible communication and removes social barriers.
  • Create quiet spaces: Providing calmer environments in workplaces or schools aids in focusing and clear communication for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
  • Educate yourself: Become more understanding through resources on the deaf community to promote informed discussions and dispel false information.

Kellina’s Upcoming Book

Kellina is in the midst of penning her third book, focusing on her personal journey growing up deaf. This book offers a new perspective from her previous one. It promises to delve into specific triumphs and challenges, painting a relatable and realistic picture of living as a deaf person.

Let’s make the world a more inclusive place. Learn more about the deaf community, share this inspiring podcast, and help spread awareness!