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Deaf South Asian Americans: Karthik’s First Days

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: Karthik’s First Days in America 

August 10, 2013

Karthik Sethuraman was born in Madras, and moved to Oklahoma City at the age of 20. He has also lived in Las Cruces, NM and most recently, Los Angeles, CA. Currently Karthik works as an IT Specialist in Washington, DC. He grew up communicating in Tamil and English with family and friends in India. He learned American Sign Language after moving to Oklahoma City, when a pastor used to drive him to church to meet other deaf folks in the community. He has incredible stories, for better or for worse, from his experiences in India and as a new immigrant in the US. You can learn more about Karthik in this previous interview.

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, Karthik describes an unforgettable but funny experience he had at O’Hare airport in Chicago, barring some tricky advice from his aunt back home.

The entire post is here:


Sarika D. Mehta


Check out all the videos of Deaf South Asian Americans:

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