My name is T'ajani Jer-Ray Shepard. I am from Fresno, CA , and I am now living in Miami Beach, FL. I am a male who is 23 years old. I suffer from a hearing disabilities; I am deaf at 90.63% hearing loss. I have earned two college degrees as far as my education field. I have been playing football since I was eight years old even with my hearing disabilities. Until now, my hearing disabilities is defeating me because it seems to be a problem for others who do not understand my situation. I do not know sign language. Even though I read lips, my speech is not always understood by others. From the outside looking into my situation, what do I do? I tried to continued with the sport I love the most, which is football. However, it seems I am being highly discriminated against. Even though I have documentation that verifies my hearing disability, individuals are telling me what I can or can not do because I physically appear normal to them. Honestly, I have never gotten any fair opportunities to prove myself to others.
I am a hard worker who loves to get the job done, to get my bills paid for, and to be able to have food on the table without stressing at night. All my life, I have been facing obstacles that keep repeating itself over and over, which is familiar to my hearing disabilities. I keep telling myself, "I can beat the odds. I have done it before. I can do it again."
Although my situation seems hopeless and it is unbearable at times, I still find myself questioning, "What do I do?" I am now living in Miami. I am applying for jobs. I may not be looking harder enough. Unfortunately, when an owner and manager see my documentation on my hearing loss, they seem to pull away and they tell me they will call me back. However, I never receive any calls regarding the jobs I am inquiring about. What do I do?
At night, I pray to God when no one is around, and I ask Him to open a door for me just give me at least one opportunity. I tell Him, "I won't let you down." All I can do is wait for my chance and keep living off my SSI. I am living in the moment one day at a time. This is the real live moment of T'ajani also known as Tee Shepard.