I’m a café worker because…
I get to meet interesting people and raise awareness about deafness. I work part-time in the café at West Midland Safari and Leisure Park.
When visitors realise I’m deaf, I feel like I’m breaking down barriers, especially when they do basic sign language with me. One weekend I was serving a deaf boy and he signed to me while I served the coffee. It felt good to be a role model, showing that deaf people are capable of working in a communication role. I’m profoundly deaf, but don’t use any special equipment at work. I’m very lucky – my colleagues are so supportive.
I studied Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton, with a five-month student exchange at the University of Illinois. My deafness has never held me back – I’ve done skydives, I enjoy skiing and, of course, I love my art.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t always achieve your targets, just be you and don’t sell yourself short. People might judge you, but you can prove them wrong. Stay focused and positive, no matter how big or small your dreams.