Deaf Model Nyle DiMarco Is Fighting Language Deprivation

Model and activist Nyle DiMarco was born deaf but he’s refused to let that stop him from living his dreams. While DiMarco is one of 25 members of his family who are deaf, including his parents and twin brother, most deaf children are born to hearing parents. Sadly, only about 25% of parents with deaf children use sign language. The unfortunate result of this is that millions of deaf children grow up without proper access to language, which can have lasting negative effects on various other areas of social development - this is called Language Deprivation. Of the 70 million deaf people worldwide, only 2% have access to sign language education. Growing up without language changes a child’s a brain forever, affecting literacy, memory, and math ability. It also makes it harder for them to become fluent in any language. DiMarco is fighting for all deaf children to learn sign language, and the foundation he started is working to pass legislation that will ensure that all deaf children in the U.S. have access to language before age 5. “You’re going to face so many challenges growing up in life,” says DiMarco, “The only way you’ll have success though, is if you never give up.”