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Facebook Opens Worlds For The Deaf

VIDEO [CC] - One billion people use Facebook around the world. Its reach is undisputed and unparalleled, but its impact on one specific community has opened up doors to a new world for the Deaf.

Christina Teani, 34, of South San Francisco is a teacher for special needs students. She understands putting in that extra bit of effort because she was born with what she calls “an invisible disability” unable to hear without wearing a hearing aid.

“You can often feel like that sometimes you are not good enough, you don’t feel like you’re part of a group,” Teani explained. “Human relationships are all about intimacy, getting to know people, feeling like you belong in a group and if you’re not able to connect, you emotionally feel left out.”

But her life has changed, much like it has for her Deaf friend, Sarah McBride of Palo Alto.

“With Facebook, I’m able to communicate with my friends through chat,” she said.

These women say the social media site has opened up a whole new world to them, offering up not only quick chats with friends, but the ability to share memories through pictures and videos especially satisfying for them because it’s one of the first times they’ve been able to communicate the same way the hearing community does.

So when the opportunity came up to visit the company that made it happen, they didn’t hesitate. Together with friends, they took tour of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park to celebrate the changes they’ve experienced in their lives.

“That’s what I like about Facebook," Teani said. "We’re all on the same playing field we haven’t had before.” ...Read more:
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