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Deaf South Asian Americans: Shaji’s First Day

The Disability Visibility Project loves it when people reach out to us and share their projects on disability history. Sarika D. Metha is a Producer for APA Compass on KBOO 90.7 FM, specializing in issues concerning race, ethnicity, and culture. She has a Bilingual/ELL Education, Deaf Studies, Early Intervention, etc. Sarika spent a decade serving linguistic minority communities, internationally in Costa Rica and India and domestically in Chicago, Champaign, SF Bay Area, Washington, DC and now, Portland.

Sarika has been documenting the stories of Deaf South Asian Americans. How cool is that?!?

Here is one story: Shaji’s First Days in America 

August 10, 2013

Shaji Chacko is a Deaf Indian American who grew up in the Philadelphia area, after immigrating to the US from Hyderabad in the early 80s. I learned about Shaji through the grapevine of Deaf South Asian Americans in the east coast, after his brother and his mother contributed their experiences to SAADA as well. I look forward to interviewing Shaji, in-depth, this October during the Metro South Asian Deaf Association‘s 10th Anniversary mela!

This is another video in a series of stories I’m collecting, documenting the experiences of the Deaf South Asian American community in Washington, DC. These stories are a part of the permanent collection with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). While these interviews do not represent the entire community, they certainly offer some insight.

This story is part of SAADA’s project launch, “First Days” in which South Asian Americans describe their unforgettable experiences upon arriving and settling in the US.

In this video, Shaji describes learning about new weather and four strong seasons in America and the real reason (the poignant reason) he and his mother moved to the US first.

The entire post is here:


Sarika D. Mehta


Check out all the videos of Deaf South Asian Americans:

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