Together We Stand, Divided We Fall….

Together We Stand, Divided We Fall….

By Billy Koch

Posted on March 26, 2009

Well you know I have lived in the Houston area for over 35 years and
there is no other city I can imagine living in. Houston has it all –
Food, Sports, Entertainment, and more. You name it – Houston has got
it. But there is one thing that Houston is definitely lacking – a true
deaf awareness and services.

Seriously folks – sure we have what? three or four interpreting
agencies here. We have DARS here but they can only do so much. But
honestly we are really lacking on a true political social system here.
I mean seriously Houston has to be one of the most uneducated cities
in the U.S. when it comes to accomodating the deaf employees. Even the
school systems here are not very beneficial for our future deaf
leaders and followers. How do we go about educating
people/organizations our rights, our needs, and more. It seems that
Houston is more interested in socializing (which is good and fine)
than really building a political team that can influence and encourage
support for the deaf individuals.

I have been blessed to be working for major organizations in the last
14 years, but then again each one has been a fight for accessibility,
for my needs, or more. I am constantly educating them on what they
need to be able to provide. I am a contributing member to society but
just give me some tools and I would be even more productive.

Point being is – it all starts with “YOU”! We have (I might have
heard wrong) a few organizations that have come up and then crashed
and then come up and crash – and some dont want to work together as
one whole organization because of personality conflicts. We need to
set those personal issues aside and focus on the “BIG PICTURE” we
all have the same common needs! One organization where everyone is a
contributor to help and grow the organization.

For example, when Hurricane Ike came blasting through our beloved
city last year, how many of you knew what was going on, what was
happening, where can you go to get help – most of us had no power.
Probably most had no information or resources – I do know I was
getting an email from one individual – Kelly Reagan who was being very
proactive in providing information.

Point being is – if we continue to squabble within each other and not
put down our differences for one common goal to build a common unity
to educate, build, develop a better unity for all deaf individuals in
the Houston area we will not accomplish anything. So lets put our
differences aside – it is my dream one day to see an organization
called Houston Deaf Center (or something) where we could provide
services for deaf, aka interpreting, legal, counseling, job training,
education training, early childhood intervention,
corporation/organizational education (training them on deaf
accomodations), and political lobbying. And maybe even a deaf school
here for our deaf children so we can watch our children grow –

To be honest – Houston is lagging behind Austin, San Antonio, and
Dallas/Ft. Worth on these. So its time for us to unite together and
make a difference. Otherwise we continue stay divided then we will
fall and continue to have the same fustration and disappointment we
face! So lets Unite and Just DO IT!


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