Just before SuperBowl 2014, Seattle Seahawks player Derrick Coleman, who is deaf – burst onto our screens in an inspired video-commercial from Duracell. The video tells his story of growing up after losing his hearing aged three – and of kicking the lifelong naysayers around him, into touch.
“You’re deaf. So what?”
For young people worldwide, Coleman is sending the fantastic message that “You’re deaf. So what? Life goes on!”. Team Sound Advice loves this message as too many kids get discouraged by negative messages around them – whether these are from family members, neighbours, educators, or from bullies.
Coleman’s life strategy is summarised here:
Changing attitudes and stereotypes always takes something bold. But it also takes confidence on the part of athletes like Coleman; proactive parents like his mother, who made a special effort to explain to his teachers and coaches how to include her son; and coaches like Seattle’s Pete Carroll, who took a chance on him, just as he would with any other player.
Coleman and his mother were one constant. Getting to move forward, is a huge challenge. On any day, Coleman’s coach could be one child’s school principal deciding to “take him on”, or an employer assessing him for work experience, or a college head deciding to “take on” a student who’s deaf.
The point is, to even get that chance, a youngster must prove their ability.
Off The Field, Too
Coleman learned Spanish in school, and says the experience taught him that working harder, gets you ahead of the game.
“I had a Spanish teacher — I hate putting her on blast, but it’s a good example– and she literally told my mom she didn’t think I was going to succeed. But, you know, we put in that extra effort and that extra work [with Spanish]. I had to take summer school and everything, but at the end of the day, I still accomplished it.”
The Superbowl “Is Every Kid’s Dream”
Everyone relates to Coleman because he’s so human. The tidbits in this blog post, from The Seattle Times confirm that. There’s more, on the links below.
Note from Sound Advice: Seattle was Caroline C’s #J1visa town in the 1990s, while this is the strategy Caroline used to secure her permanent, graduate job.
- Seattle Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman Chose History Over Excuses
- Derrick Coleman – No Excuses Campaign
- ‘My deafness has inspired me’ – Derrick Coleman
- Seeing [ Role Models ] Is Believing
- Girl (9) Pens Heart-Melting Letter To Derrick Coleman
- Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman Surprises Young Twin Sisters – In Person
- Inspiring Seattle Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman To Play In Super Bowl
- #NHL’s Steve Downie is deaf in his right ear and stopped a hockey game
- #NFL – Hearing Devices Double As Tiny Media Devices
- Seahawks Derrick Coleman, the picture of determination
- Kent Youth Football Player Refuses To Hear Critics