Hearing-impaired comedian encourages communication

Hearing-impaired comedian encourages communication

By: Kyle Reynolds

Editor: Those who have had the pleasure of hearing Kathy Buckley know that she is a master at finding the humor in a variety of hearing loss situations. Here’s a report on her recent performance at Bowling Green University. It is reprinted with the kind permission of the folks at the “BG News”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October 2007

Comedian Kathy Buckley filled the Union Ballroom with laughter Friday night, even if she was unable to hear it.

Buckley, who is hearing impaired, came to campus to make students laugh and to talk about her life. Despite not being able to hear the laughter, she said she knows people are laughing because she can feel the vibrations throughout the room and can see everyone’s reactions.

Many of Buckley’s jokes centered on living with her hearing impairment. She joked about trying to lip read the slow moving lips of Texans and how she used her impairment to get out of a speeding ticket.

Buckley’s life has not always been full of laughs, though. She talked about how she was put in a school for the mentally challenged until she was 8 years old before it was discovered that she was deaf.

“It took them that long to figure that out, and they thought I was the slow one,” Buckley said.

Buckley not only entertained on Friday night, but she also inspired the audience with her stories of her strength.

When she was 20 years old, Buckley was run over by a life guard vehicle when she lying on the beach.

She was in a wheelchair for more than two years, and it took her about five years to recover.

A few years later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Buckley said another tragedy in her life was the limitations people put on her.

“I spent my whole life listening to the labels of society, and that I wasn’t acceptable,” Buckley said.

Buckley explained that being deaf isn’t a problem, but if it you let it hinder your ability to interact with others, it is.

“Nothing is wrong with having hearing loss, but there is definitely something wrong with not being able to communicate,” Buckley said.

The student group Finding Intelligence Greatness Uniquely Residing in Everyone organized the event with the help of more than 20 other student organizations.

FIGURE president Amber Ricker met Buckley when she went to Las Vegas to receive her award for being named Miracle Ear’s spokeschild in 2001.

“She is one of my role models and I have a lot of respect for her,” Ricker said.

Jaime Hoover, a senior at the event, said she was inspired by Buckley’s story.

“I was amazed to hear her life story and what she’s been through,” Hoover said. “She was also hilarious.”