During the opening party for SOBCon this year, I noticed a sign language interpreter at the event.
I asked who needed the assistance and was told, “Anne Reuss!”
What?!? Anne Reuss is deaf?
You see, this social media world not only levels out the business world and the world in general, it makes it easy for everyone to participate. And, based on the online conversations I’d had with Anne, I had no idea she is deaf.
In fact, when you spend time with her, it’s pretty difficult to tell because she does such a great job of communicating. Sometimes you have to get your phones out to text one another, if you really don’t understand, but she reads lips very well and has spent her entire life learning how to communicate with the hearing world. And, when I hang out with her, I get to practice the sign language (remedial at best) I learned as a kid.
On top of it that, she is wicked smart, absolutely adorable, and has a great sense of humor (and we all know how much I like funny people). Every once in a while I’ll get a text message from her that is a really funny cartoon or a person making a face at me…and that’s it.
I recently had dinner with her and we talked about the job market for a deaf person, which really depressed me. She described how hard it is to get a job because most people see it as a disability so she can’t even get an interview.
What the heck is wrong with people? Seriously.
Plus you can check her out on video. The girl is fearless!
I highly, highly recommend you introduce yourself to Anne (in the comments below) and get to know her online. She will enrich your life. I guarantee it.