Thirsty for information on who this v/blogger is, who tactiles your world?
I was born Christine Amanda Roschaert on January 5, 1980 (do the math) in Ottawa, Ontario – the REAL Capital of Canada to hearing parents. I was sent to the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf in 1984 to start a lifelong education in Deaf Culture. My parents, Robert and Jillian, went on to learn sign language, as well.
When I was eight years old, amidst speculation when I would bump into posts or trip over objects on the floor, I was sent to the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Ontario for field vision and genetic testing. There, my family discovered I had Usher Syndrome Type I a recessive and domnant genetic affliction that would eventually cause my vision to deteroriate to complete blindness.
I continued attending Sir James until 1997 when I had the fortune to be exchanged to Germany for an entire year, studying at the Landesbildungszentrum fuer Hoergeschadigte in Oldenburg. In that year alone, I had made a lot of new friends, became literate in German writing, reading and sign language.
I returned to SJW in 1998, completed a post high school program and enrolled in Gallaudet in 1999.
Trials and tribulations in my undergraduate career at Gallaudet led me down many paths – some good, some bad and some challenging. My vision deteroriated even more and I found I could not completely understand signing all the times, so through a very difficult phase I decided to learn how to use a cane and how to use tactile to understand sign language.
Notable moments during Gallaudet:
– Class of 2003 Vice President (1999) and President (2000) and ex-officio (2001-03)
– Internships: The Philippine Islands, Jagna School for the Deaf in Bohol (2002); Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind (2005) and the American Association for the Deaf Blind (2006)
– Travelled to Europe (2001) and Thailand all by myself (2002)
– Leader for World Federation for the Youth Deaf Camp (2003) in Montreal, Quebec
– Majored in Social Work (2002), English (2003) before settling for Communication Studies (2004-06)
– Chairperson for the Holmes/Hoffman Student Body Government Commission on Disabilities (2004)
– Director for Ethics & Conduct, Higgins/Hogue Administration for SBG 2005/06
– Alpha Sigma Theta Sorority Sister, Pi Pledge Class 2005; AST Sister of the Year 2006
– Alpha Sigma Pi Sweetheart of the Year, 2004; Kappa Gamma Queen 2006
– Kappa Gamma Queen of the Year 2006
– Representative for the DeafBlind and Deaf Plus, Fac/Students/Staff/Alumni (FSSA) during Unity for Gallaudet Protests May 2006 and October 2006; Hunger Strike Participant, 11 days, October 2006 (15 pounds loss)
– Member of Metro Washington Association for the DeafBlind, American Association for the DeafBlind
Post graduation accomplishments:
= Motivational speaker: 2007 Louisiana Acadiana Deaf Blind Citizens, Inc Picnic (April), Ottawa Area Sign Language Interpreters of the National Capital (May & September), University of Vermont (October), Ottawa Deaf Centre and the Community (October), San Francisco Bay Area Deaf Counseling and Referral Agency (DCARA and the Bay Area Deaf Community (November), Fremont School for the Deaf California Usher Support Group (November), Voluntary Services Overseas Ottawa Headquarters (November); 2008 Northeastern University Deaf Club and Interpreters Club of NU (February) and Boston University Deaf Literature Class (February)
– Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada Teacher, Federal Department of Education and Immigration, January – July 2007
– Volunteer at the Lighthouse for the Blind and the Deaf Blind Service Centre, Seattle (December 07- January 08)
– February 2008 – ? Birnin Kebbi School for the Handicapped, Kebbi State, Nigeria through Voluntary Services Overseas Canada. Work with the school to develop a curriculum to establish a classroom for Deaf Blind children who currently lack any form of sign language and english instruction. HIV/AIDS prevention presentations to Deaf community across the country. From March to June 2009, I worked with the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) as an advocacy advisor and made important visits to the World Bank, UNICEF, Deaf schools, and so on. One of my pet projects was to enable the Nigerian Interpreters Association to grow professionally and they became government-recognized in October of 2009.
– In January of 2009, I backpacked through Europe alone, visiting and giving lectures in England, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and touring Ireland, Scotland and London.
The new Year of 2010 brings me to New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, Cambodia and several more Asian countries in search of enlightenment, Deafblindhood and advocacy.
My life is “go with the flow and learn as many lessons from mistakes as I go”. I support ASL education and will forever advocate for the rights for humans and education for the Deaf Blind.