Raymond Luczak’s voice is clear as he signs his poem with expressive strength. The setting, the gestures, and the poetry make it clear that Raymond is not the “sweet and docile failure” some assume him to be just because he is deaf.

Write about a time someone assumed you would do something or be something based on a stereotype. How did it make you a better and stronger person? How has it influenced the way you perceive others who are different from you?

When we first meet people, we all make assumptions based on gender, race, disability, and other traits we observe. The hard part is seeing the value in those traits that are different from what we consider ourselves to be.

Think of someone who you have judged in the past and reflect on the differences between the two of you. Next time you encounter someone who is different than you, look for the value in the differences and make an effort to get to know that person. We all feel similar emotions when it comes to being accepted and fitting in, after all.