Lolly is a typical teenager boy, he loves to play soccer and video games, loves to laugh, extremely smart, and is very helpful around the community. He is, also, a devoted Christian. He was living with his Dad, Step-mom, 3 brothers, and 2 sisters, just three houses down from my Dad’s house, in Old Harbour. Now he is attending school at the Knockpatrick campus of the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf (CCCD) in Mandeville. Thanks to some amazing folks I worked with, we were able to raise enough money to get him started in school. While I was in Jamaica visiting my family I felt this connection with Lolly, you see, I have known him since he was 3 years old and now he’s grown into this wonderful young man. What stood out to me was that Lolly does not allow his disability to stop him from anything. Whether he was swinging at full speed on the swing and jumping off in mid-air, landing straight on his feet, or running down the hill at full speed then using his left foot as brakes, I could go on and on.
I started to observed Lolly, his cognitive and academic skills. What I found out was, he was able to communicate very well with all his friends. Lolly had his own unique way of ‘signing’, he used body language, hand gestures, grunts, and lip-reading. My sister, Janil, and Lolly were always chatting away and laughing up a storm. It was as if the neighbors protected him, which was a wonderful thing. I know first hand what it is like to have disabilities living in Jamaica…living anywhere for that matter.