Steven Teaches Sign Language on Crochet Cruise
Crochet Cruises, 2nd Cruise, was made extra special by having Steven, a hearing impaired individual with us.
Steven, 50 years old, decided to treat his mother to a crochet cruise. Being hearing impaired, he arranged with Carnival Cruise Lines to provide interpreters for him while enjoying our classroom time and scheduled socials.
Amy and Dave, sign language interpreters, were beyond phenomenal in communicating our words and what was happening around us. I am unsure how they kept up. From hand movements, mouth movements and facial expressions to communicate, many of us, including myself, were fascinated by the speed and complexity of communications. Some words are a symbol while others need to be spelled out.
We realized on the first day that Steven had a sense of humour and was quite engaging with us. I cannot communicate to you, the reader, how amazed I am that he can read lips with such accuracy. Steven could speak clearly, without having heard any sound in his life. His fun personality shone through and almost the entire group of nearly 100 of us had an opportunity to be part of his enthusiasm and jokes. He’s pretty sharp with a fun witty sense of humour. He was able to dish out the humour and take it too! He had us all in hysterics many times throughout the cruise.
It was obvious that Steven made such effort to read our lips that I invited him up to teach us some simple words to help communicate with him. We learned how to say “Happy Hooker”, simple words and even a simple sentence to invite him to “join our group to crochet”.
The Fake Frogging Prank
Steven was hilarious. He could give and take humour with ease. He got up to get water and I decided to do a fake frogging of his project that was giving him a hard time.
I hid his project and pulled up a secondary ball. I pulled up the middle to appear his project had been frogged and quickly crocheted 3 rows of his project. He came back too early so we had a crocheter distract him to give me an extra 3 minutes.
I quickly jumped back into my seat and all of us pretended nothing had happened. He got back to the table and stood with his mouth wide open… then he blamed his mom! We all, including Steven, lost it with laughter. He told me I had 15 minutes to get his project back to where it was… I simply opened his bag and gave it to him!
By the end of the cruise, Steven had worked into our hearts. As a group on Day 1, we embraced his communications and he became our dear friend. A friendship to cherish.
His interpreters came up to me to ask if he could address our group. He signed as the interpreter spoke.
He communicated how differently people treat him as he is deaf. He tries so hard to speak and yet it’s not 100%, he’s pretty amazing and people still pass judgement. He spoke on how included he felt during his week with us. A community who came together to unite instead of pushing him aside. If ever I were to say one of the proudest moments I felt as a Crochet Crowder, my friends of The Crochet Crowd, this was powerful and a reflection of how crocheters come together.
Truth be told, myself and many of the Crochet Cruisers were driven to tears by his speech. We loved our time with him. He’s vowing to come back for our cruises next year. Truth is, we are all hoping he does too.