On episode 25 of All Ears at Child’s Voice: A Hearing Loss Podcast, Tatum and Wendy are joined by Derrick Coleman, Jr., the first deaf offensive player in the NFL. Derrick grew up in California and played college football at UCLA. He began playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, then played in Super Bowl XLVIII, which the Seattle Seahawks. He most recently played for the Arizona Cardinals. Listeners may be familiar with him from his time in the NFL and from the Duracell commercial featuring him that first aired in 2014 just before the Super Bowl. Derrick shares about his experience growing up hard-of-hearing and learning to advocate for himself both in the classroom and on the football field. He established the No Excuse Foundation, whose mission is to empower, unite, and advocate for people of all ages who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Resources:

  • Find Derrick’s book, No Excuses: Growing Up Deaf and Achieving My Super Bowl Dreams by Derrick Coleman, Jr. and Marcus Brotherton here.
  • View the 2014 Duracell commercial featuring Derrick here.

Where to Find Derrick:

  • Learn about his No Excuse Foundation on Facebook here.
  • Follow Derrick on Facebook (@DerrickColemanRB), Twitter (@DC4Jr), and Instagram (jr5)

Where to Find Us:

  • You can email us at podcast@childsvoice.org.
  • Follow Child’s Voice on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @childs_voice
  • Follow Wendy & Tatum on social media: @WendyDetersSLP, @TatumFritzSLP

Please leave us a voice memo:

Special thanks to John McCortney & Michael McCortney for their work recording All Ears at Child’s Voice episodes. Episodes of All Ears at Child’s Voice are graciously edited by John McCortney.

Disclaimer: Child’s Voice is a listening-and-spoken-language program for children with hearing loss. All Ears at Child’s Voice: A Hearing Loss Podcast is a resource provided by Child’s Voice. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Child’s Voice. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by Child’s Voice employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of Child’s Voice.

 

Kim:                                  Welcome to All Ears at Child’s Voice, a podcast discussing all things hearing loss. We aim to connect parents of children with hearing loss with the professionals who serve them. I’m Kim Tasharki and I’m a developmental therapist for hearing and the teacher of our toddler group here at Child’s Voice. My favorite thing about Child’s Voice is creating fun thematic environments in my classroom that encourage lots of play. I also love working with families and help them lay the foundation for listening, developing language, and establishing a love for life-long learning. I also want to let all of our listeners know that our annual golf outing will be online this year. It has already begun. It’s from September 9th to 27th. You can golf anywhere you choose, 18 holes, mini golf, video golf, nine holes, in the driving range, or even your back yard, any time with your friends and family to make a donation to Child’s Voice. We will share everyone’s fun on social media. There will also be an online auction for the duration of the event. This event supports all of the incredible work done at Child’s Voice, including this podcast. You can visit our website at www.childsvoice.org to register. Thanks. And now to start the show.

Tatum:                             Welcome to All Ears at Child’s Voice, a podcast discussing all things hearing loss. We aim to connect parents of children with hearing loss with the professionals who serve them. I’m Tatum Fritz.

Wendy:                            And I’m Wendy Deters. So today’s a really special episode, we are recording on zoom, which we have not done before. And we’re doing that because Tatum and I are both in our homes in Illinois and we have a super special guest joining us today that if you’re watching this on zoom you can see him but we’ll introduce him. Today we have Derrick Coleman, who is the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL. Derrick grew up in California and played college football at UCLA. He began playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, then played in Super Bowl XLVIII. He plays for the Arizona Cardinals. And you might remember the inspiring Duracell commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, so we’ll be talking more about this experience during the episode. After the Super Bowl, he wrote a book called, No Excuses: Growing Up Deaf and Achieving My Super Bowl Dreams, which was published in 2015. Derrick continues to be an inspiration to young people with hearing loss and their families. He’s created a foundation whose mission is to empower, unite, and advocate for people of all ages who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. So we are absolutely thrilled to be talking with him today and introducing him to our listeners. So Derrick, thank you so much for being with us.

Derrick:                            Hey, appreciate you guys having me. It’s a blessing to be able to be here and share my experience and just connect with everybody.

Tatum:                             Yeah, we’re really excited. I think we told you when we first connected a little while ago that the day that you wrote back to Wendy’s email reaching out to you, Wendy and I were freaking out that we were going to get to have you on the show and we’re just excited to have you here.

Derrick:                            Oh yeah. And it was one of those things where I played, I put my focus, everything I had into football and making sure I was great at that. And now that that’s kinda dying out, I want to put all my energy and focus in making sure that it’s a community, that I’m a part of the community, that kind of distanced and everything. We all come back to one and that’s the hard of hearing/deaf community. And, want to make sure that the confidence is out there. The will, the determination, because in my mind, I was just a nobody just trying to make it in this world. Just trying to be the best I could. And then it just took off to a whole ‘nother level to be able to share my experience would be awesome.

Wendy:                            Well we’re so happy to have you. We knew it was a longshot when we emailed you at first and we were like, let’s just try, you never know what’s going to happen.

Derrick:                            That’s the mentality everybody needs to have in life in general.

Wendy:                            That’s right.

Derrick:                            What’s the worst they gonna say? No. Okay. And you move on, but you never want to miss out on an opportunity. And, it’s a blessing. I mean, I believe everything come full circle and everything happened for a reason.

Tatum:                             So today we’ll be talking to you about your journey, growing up, entering the NFL, your journey with sports, and then also just about how your hearing loss has played a role in each stage of that journey. So to start off with, can you tell us a bit about your hearing loss?

Derrick:                            Yeah. So, I actually lost my hearing when I was three years old, wasn’t born with it, pass all the hearing tests they had at the time. And, by the time I was threeish, my dad actually took me to the barber. His name is Rob and he started chatting with me, you know, when he goes to the hair salon or barber, the barber wants to talk with you. So every time I’m facing I was communicating, but every time I wasn’t, I wasn’t talking to him, he’s asking me questions. And so he just asked my dad, he was like, “Hey, have you ever got his ears checked? Is he okay?” So from there, that’s when my mom being a nurse and being over protective was like, “Okay wait, something’s up.” Went and got the test and then determined that one of my ears, either my right or left, till this day, I still don’t know, but I don’t want to know cause it’s kind of fun not knowing, but my left one went and then within a year, my right one was also progressing. So by the time I was four, I had bilateral hearing loss and was fitted with hearing aids at the time. And it wasn’t really so much of an adjustment period so much because I was still three, four years old, but the one thing that did take effect in all of it is I became a mute. I didn’t really talk to anybody that was outside of my family because I started realizing I’m not hearing things. I’m not taking things in like I did at the last year or two. So I’m talking funny and so for about the first, like until I was about five, I was keeping to myself.

Derrick:                            So, how I got out of that mainly, was two things. One, after I got diagnosed, you know, all the audiologists and doctors at the time were saying, “Okay, there’s multiple different ways you can go about this. You know, you have a special school, special education, learn sign language, or you can mainstream him.” And those who don’t know what mainstream is when you go through normal school. My parents’ thought process at the time was “Do we raise him as nothing happened, nothing special, like mainstream him and he’s going to need extra work, attention, or okay, you go to sign language and all of that. And their biggest concern was having all of family have to learn sign language and study it just to communicate with me.

Derrick:                            So, they decided to mainstream me, they decided to put me in and with that I did a lot of speech therapy and all the way up until I was in eighth grade, which I had speech therapy. And even while I was in there, you never heard, you always heard me talking too much in class and me not doing this and that, but you will never heard me not going to speech therapy because I’ve always, I always known that I was different, knowing that I was talking, knowing that I had a lisp. And, from an early age, my mom educated me that, “Okay. There’s a lot of sounds that you can hear and so there’s a lot of sounds that you’re not saying, if you can’t hear you can’t say it. So her just telling me that made me realize, okay, I don’t want to keep walking around, not staying things correctly.

Derrick:                            So I would always in speech therapy five minutes early. Like “you’re not even supposed to be here yet.” “Oh, I’m sorry.” And the next thing that kind of helped me get out of being somewhat mute is my parents took me everywhere with them, meaning everywhere. They forced me in conversation that I did not want to be in. “He said, hi to you.” They didn’t say hi to me. She just wanted me to like say something. And with that, it’s just of course being with my brothers. I have an older brother, older sister, them just treated me the same. They didn’t treat me really any different. And if I did something wrong, I got the same punishment or whatever that they did. If I did something right, great, I got the same reward. They knew that they were going to be a lot of things that I needed help, but my mom was very proactive.

Derrick:                            And the point where she wasn’t gonna let that become an issue. I can go on and on. My dad has a quote saying, “Take care of the little thing before they become big things.” And what he was saying is you want to take care of the little things, meaning, fast forward, we go to class, I’m supposed to be in the front row. Let the teacher know the first time I meet her to let her know my name, what the problem is, blah, blah, blah. So that way, when it comes up later, we all understand. So I can’t hear you, or you just see me spacing, probably because I couldn’t hear you. And I didn’t want to interrupt you, whatever, when I’m raising [my] hands, sometimes it’s not a question it’s just asking you to repeat it.

Derrick:                            Maybe I might do raise up two fingers and that’s just a symbol that, “Oh, can you just repeat it a second time?” But yeah, you take care of the little things, so it doesn’t become a problem. So now when I come to her later, “Hey, I didn’t hear that. She know, I’m not making an excuse.” I came to her prepared and I was ready. So kind of going back, I’ve always had progressive hearing loss too. All the way up until I think 11th grade, my hearing was just slowly declining. I’m not exactly sure what’s the frequency, but it’s like low on the graph.

Derrick:                            Well, actually believe it or not. In the last year I found out that there was some high school kids that are wearing cochlear implants and having helmets. So my biggest thing was I have hearing aids and the ones I have now, they’re very small, micro. But the ones that I had when I was growing up were the big bulky ones, we called them the grandfather hearing aids. And as you guys know, the two issues when it comes to playing football and hearing, well, three, first one my mom tried to do was I started playing football in seventh grade. I started playing sports in general since I was young. But mom issue was if I get hit, am I going to lose the remaining hearing?

Derrick:                            We still don’t know what caused my hearing loss. We still don’t know like, okay, like what it came from, because I am the only person in my family that has hearing loss. It’s not hereditary. Some doctors think that maybe it’s a genetic thing that took effect later. I didn’t get sick. It wasn’t anything, it just up and went. So if I get hit, is it going to go? So you want to ask for X-rays, MRIs. The whole nine yards. Second, a hearing aid’s basically like a microphone. So if you put it too close to something, they’re gonna get all that feedback. If I get feedback, I’m gonna get a headache like nonstop. So how are we gonna eliminate that? And then the last thing, when I deliver a hit or when somebody deliver a hit on me, is my hearing aid gonna pop out, what am I gonna do?

Derrick:                            Am I going to hear it? Like, because the one thing they wasn’t too worried about, and most people are wondering is how I’m going to communicate, but they never really had to worry about it because I’ve already made it up to seventh grade, communicating by reading lips. You know, my way of adapting when I lost one of my senses was okay. I just started finding the linguistic stuff, reading the lips. Okay. That’s what he said. Okay. Because there’s a lot of time that’s basically my fail-safe if I can’t hear you. Yeah. I asked you to repeat it and I still can’t hear, I just go straight to your… Like, what are you saying? And okay, you got a face mask on, how am I going to see? Well, good thing is the quarterback is not exactly using his helmet, so he doesn’t need to have all that stuff on his face. So it’ss always the big gap. All I needed to do was see our lips. I don’t need to see your whole face.

Derrick:                            So we tried it out, seventh and eighth grade, and it was great. It really started with my mom taking some of her pantyhose and cutting them and making the top to make a wrap to put over my head. So she had two of them, one I put over my head underneath my hearing aids to keep all my sweat out. That was another problem. Those that are basketball fans, know Shaquille O’Neal, I sweat like Shaq at the free throw line. So how are we going to eliminate that? Because it’s not like now where ever since I got to the NFL, I have multiple pairs. Before I had one pair that I got every two, three years through insurance. So what are we doing about that? Then we had another pantyhose that went on top of it so when I got hit, they stayed and also, that also eliminated the feedback, which was pretty awesome. And that was the main thing. So now the thing was, how do we get the helmet on and off when I need to, it started with me just wearing the helmet nonstop. I put it on and I ain’t take it off until we were in the car ride home. Water break, gotta go to the bathroom, I still had it on. Then one of the equipment guys, he was like, “Okay, what if we give a smaller one? So that way you have room to get it on and off, maybe pull it, get it on. Cause the other one, no matter what I pull it’s still touching on here. So what if I pull it, get it on? Okay. So now I went from having a one-inch jaw pad through a half inch jaw pad. We took care of the little thing before it became a big thing.

Derrick:                            Now it just became, can I go out and play football? And at this time, which is kind of funny, first two weeks with me ever playing tackle football, I decided I wanted to play quarterback. That was the most awesome time of my life, but that was also the most miserable time of my life because I barely know what I have to do. Now you want me to know what everybody else has to do? And on top of everybody trying to run and sack me? Yeah, that’s not happening. So, ended up swapping positions and just, I think it was, for football, it was more my sense of purpose, my sense of belonging, knowing that they don’t really, okay, he can hear though, that’s not an issue. Okay. Come out here and let’s all play. Now, everybody just wants to have fun. And enjoy what life has to offer.

Tatum:                             Yeah, well it sounds like both of your parents have taught you a lot about advocacy and that’s translated into being able to play football and advocate for yourself when it comes to playing football, what about in the school setting, how was that like advocating for yourself with teachers or maybe when interacting with other kids?

Derrick:                            It was rough as every kid would say, but it wasn’t, my dad always say, like just in sports, I always go back and forth with sports and school. It started off. My dad always say like, “Yeah, they’re good, but they’re not unbeatable.” Everybody in sports is beatable, Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant to LeBron James, to any sport. Everybody is beatable in life and that goes to everything in life. So that was the way, my dad always taught me quotes to keep me going, so at an early age, my biggest problem, wasn’t so much, learning the material. You put a book in front of me. I read it. I love it. Especially math, chemistry, like everything specific, so nothing really changes. My biggest problem so much was communicating. You know, even when I heard things, I wasn’t communicating it right back that I heard you right. Or I wasn’t saying things right. So let’s go back to the beginning, from an early age, I used to get in trouble from my mom, teacher saying, “Oh, he’s not being engaged” or something like that. And if I ever I go home and my excuse to my mom was, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear the teacher say that.” I was in trouble. I got grounded. I got all of that, because that was her way of saying that, “Okay, you didn’t hear, why didn’t you raise your hand and [ask her to] repeat it? Why didn’t you talk to her? What is all of those situations?” And at the time, I’m just a shy little kid that’s just trying to get along, just trying to get through these times or whatever. So I didn’t have the confidence that I needed. One of the things that I learned now is that it never, well that I learned about a couple of years ago, I never met a deaf adult until I got to middle of high school. I didn’t even meet other kids in the same school as me until I got to high school that had hearing loss. So I didn’t really see that, I’ve always kind of shied back. I was like, if I didn’t hear, I was like, okay, let me shy back. I’ll figure it out later. Make sure my team, my classmates or whatever wasn’t like looking at me funny because I’m always asking, “Hey, can you repeat that? Can you repeat that?” And that’s where, as I mentioned earlier, that’s when my mom became my advocate, that’s when my mom became, saying, “Hey, there’s two things. You cannot be shy. Like the card that you were dealt, you can’t afford to be shy. Like if you can’t hear something, you have to, “Excuse me. What’d you say?” You say it in the most respectful way. Maybe when the time is right. And if it’s not right. She taught me the whole nine yards, saying you cannot be shy.

Derrick:                            And that correlates over to because you can’t by shy, you have to be proactive in everything you do. You can’t just wait and, you know, because they might call on you and you not hear and they don’t know that you’re hard of hearing. So for them, it’s almost, “Oh, why didn’t he let me know?” You ever had somebody that, five minutes late or 10 minutes late. And it’s like, “Man, if you just would’ve let me know, we would have been fine. Like no problem.” But now I’m over here in my head. So my mom told me that can happen in everyday life. That’s not going to happen just in the classroom.

Derrick:                            So my mom was teaching me about life to the point where it got to, I think junior high, the first time I’m having to deal with multiple teachers. Every, every period is a different teacher and so and that, I mean, that was a challenge. I think, halfway through my seventh grade year, only half of the teachers really knew and understood. I was just trying to get away with it, even though it was, I loved it in fifth and sixth grade. I still didn’t have it. So, if it wasn’t for my support system, my mom, my dad just being, staying proactive and just, just checking on, “Hey, so he’s been using his FM system, right? He told you he’s hard of hearing, has to sit in the front row?” And then they would be like, “Oh no, he’s been sitting in the back, like maybe that’s why,” like the whole nine yards. And that’s when you just see me sitting in the chair like, “Uhhhh.”

Derrick:                            Well as junior high kind of progressed and I started realizing that they’re there to help me. Because I’ve always thought that because I’m the only one in my family, because I’m the only one that has hearing loss that I know, I didn’t really meet anybody, I always thought I was going through something that nobody can relate to. Nobody can go through. So I had to go about my own way. Okay, I’m going to go this way, like you guys are telling me to go that way, but you don’t even know what I’m really going through. I have an older brother and older sister and there was some times where I felt like I was the only child. So as junior high started going on, I started making friends. I started playing basketball a lot during lunch to the point where I had pants on and I had shorts underneath my pants every day. So at lunchtime, I can just take my pants off, go hoops, then put pants back on.

Derrick:                            But everybody that was out there was always loving. I started realizing that man, nobody really cared. Everybody’s different. Me being a lip reader, I’m also a people watcher. And I have a phrase that I repeat all the time to everybody, my coach repeat it to me when I did something wrong in practice, he say, “You’re saying ‘yes’ with your mouth, but you’re saying ‘no’ with your feet.” He asked me, “Did you run that route right?” And I was like, “Yeah, I did.” “But your feet is telling me a different language.” So I watched people like the body language and that comes with also just being hard of hearing, even if I learned sign language, facial expression, body language, all of that.

Derrick:                            So, me watching the way people react when they have find out I have hearing loss, it kinda makes them uncomfortable. What do I’m used to do? And all of that, opposed to me if I just, okay, “I have hearing loss, but it doesn’t like, you know, every now and then I might need it.” If I’m proactive, I could let them know. Even my friends. It’s not just school. It’s even my friends, my best friends all to this day are my linemen in high school. But two of them didn’t even know I had hearing problems, they saw something in my ear, but they didn’t really know that. They just said, “Hey,  like,” whatever. Like they just kept going. Then they finally asked me like randomly, “What’s that in your ear?” I’m like, you know me too much and you still don’t know.

Derrick:                            But that’s because I’m going about life with just confidence, like, Hey, I said, we all just want to have fun. I’m not using my hearing as an excuse. I’m just saying, Oh, there may be times when I need you to repeat something. Or, you know, if I don’t reply to you, I’m not trying to be mean or I’m not mad at you. I just probably just didn’t hear you saying anything. If we’re up front, if we’re not shy, as my mom said, the sky is the limit, honestly.

Tatum:                             I was a shy kid and I’m still pretty shy, it takes me a bit to speak up for myself and so that’s still very impressive and to have your family, you know really supporting you and keeping you accountable too. I know it’s hard to be that outspoken all the time too but like you said, it could come up every day in daily life to be outspoken.

Derrick:                            Yeah, I understand, when I talk to kids, I see them. “Okay, you can’t be shy” and it is an effort. It is overwhelming sometimes. Even now, I’m not a big party guy. I always think, man, I’m, maybe I’m just an introvert and all that, I’m opposite of it. Yeah. I like to chill, watch movies. I go to movie theaters by myself, but I’m always on the go. I like to do things, go mountain bike riding, this or whatever. But the reason why I’ve never been a party guy, never been a club guy, because when I get there, I don’t really hear the music, there’s times where I go to the restaurant and my lady starts dancing, “Don’t you hear this song?” And I’m like, “no, I don’t.”

Derrick:                            I hear like, I know music or something playing, but I can’t clarify it. And so that’s kinda how if people want to talk, they wanna mingle, you know, chat up and all that. And it makes life already hard. I’m already having to do that in every, just everyday life, regardless. Even now I’m 29 years old and still, I’m not, you know, I do that every now and then, but that’s a lot of work. I understand it. But as one of my coaches already said, “I say yes to the goal” and my goal was I wanted to be able to hear, I wanted to be able to…as my mom, I like to be nosy. I want to know what’s going on in the world. I wanted to be able to communicate and have different conversation with everybody.

Derrick:                            And I can’t do that unless I have my hearing aids on at all times. I’m in a somewhat quiet setting. Or so that brings it over to, okay you play football with a hundred thousand people trying to scream at you and you just say you don’t like going to a club. So what’s up? But as I mentioned, you guys earlier, I read lips, that’s always been my go to. When we at the bar and everything, there’s so much going around. You’re not like, people…they just already a lot, but when I’m on the field, it’s just different. It’s just me, 10 other guys going for one goal, we all practiced it. We all know it. Whenever I’m with everybody know my problem and everybody, if anybody else has a problem, we know theirs, whether it’s injury, whether it’s hearing, whatever it is.

Derrick:                            So we’re all trying to help each other, collectively one goal. But it goes back to me reading lips. Go back to Seattle. I was playing with Russell Wilson, the quarterback. And from the first day I met him I said, “Hey Russel, I’m Derrick Coleman. I’m hard of hearing. I wear hearing aids at all times. So if you ever get up on a line or anything, I’m always reading your lips. So you never have to worry about doing anything after, only thing I say is, sometimes I might repeat it back to you. That’s just to clarify that I heard the same, right? It’s not me doubting myself or anything.” I also tell them that if you ever change the play and it’s not something that we rehearsed at practice, or you said in the huddle, most of the time I’m right behind you, 90% of the time, I’m right behind you. So all you gotta do is turn and say it. Say it normal. You don’t even have to yell it because I’m reading your lips. If you ever see me run up and grab you, I’m not trying to harm you. I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m just trying to make sure we’re on the same page, because if I’m off page and all of you guys are on page, we’ll fail.

Derrick:                            At that point, you know, it’s the National Football League, so he knows that I can play. He knows that I’ve gotten here so far. It’s just a matter of going out there at practice and proving it to them. Once you do that, we never had an issue. There’ve been times I remember we were playing the 49ers and it was at home and we’re trying to make it known, crowd was just being loud. Seattle Seahawks has the loudest stadium, arguably next to Arrowhead and Kansas city. And it’s just loud. And I remember he changes his something. And I remember something early in my career and actually it took me all the way up until, I think my second year in NFL, not college, not high school, to me to fully realize it. If I didn’t hear it, chances are the person behind me or somebody else didn’t hear it.

Derrick:                            Which is crazy because my mom used to tell me that all the time in classrooms and all that, if you didn’t hear it, the percentages are pretty high that somebody else didn’t hear too. So you’re also helping somebody else, you’re being an advocate for you and them. For the ones that as Tatum said, she was shy. She wouldn’t’ve been able to raise her hand, “Can you repeat that?” But I have to… one, she said, you can’t be shy. Just end of discussion. You want to be friends and all that. Like you can’t be shy. So yeah. Does it correlate? So it’s like if you didn’t hear it and I think I have the footage somewhere and it’s basically me going up to the thing, but I remember seeing it the next day, we’re watching film, and the running back behind me also ran up too cause he didn’t hear it.

Derrick:                            He was like, “Wait, what’d he say to you?” So that was like, “Man, you got great hearing and everything. And I somewhat heard him but want to clarify and you didn’t even hear it at all.” So that kinda made me okay now, like I need to take this to the next level. Then we ended up winning the Super Bowl, the Duracell commercial came out. That’s really where as we’ll talk about I have my foundation because I wanted to let the kids know, one they’re not alone. Like, everything that you’ve been through in life is… Somebody else been through before. Probably me. And two, you can’t be shy because you’re probably going to be an advocate for somebody else who has that same problem, somebody else who really don’t have that support system and everything. And it’s the domino effect. It really is.

Wendy:                            I wonder, I was just going to say these, all these things that you’re saying, I wonder if they make you an even better player than other people, right? Like you’re able to focus, like anyone that can tune out a whole football stadium full of people and just focus on what’s in front of you, like that’s a talent that I wonder if not every other player has. And that’s such a cool thing for parents of kids with hearing loss to hear that like their kid has these abilities that are exceptional because of their hearing loss. And just like you’re saying, you’re not only advocating for yourself but you’re helping other people, I wonder if parents never even thought of that. So it’s really cool for families of, you know, kids with hearing loss to hear this.

Derrick:                            Oh yeah. And that’s kind of one of the reasons why, one of the biggest thing, you kind of brought it to my attention, me being a wild child and all that, you know, you take me, two years old, running in the grocery store and everything. My dad always tried to give me quotes, tried to get my mind working. And, I’ll be grounded or something. We’re driving home from a daycare and he would be like, “What city are we in?” I’m, okay. I’m in elementary school. I started looking around, but I don’t know. And then the next day you’ll have it. But really, long story short, what he’s trying to teach me is I got to keep my head on the swivel. I can’t hear the things that everybody else can hear. If I’m ever driving later on down the road, like a police comes up or a ambulance or a firetruck or something, somebody is honking. I’m not going to be able to hear that everyday thing. I walk into a bar, setting and everything. If something goes down and everybody needs to escape, where’s the nearest fire escape? Or it was like, you know, I have, my eyes have to basically be my backup as I mentioned previously. And so me just keeping my head on the swivel, what does that correlate to football? I was a running back and transitioned to fullback, but the whole point of the running back is to get the ball and get to the end zone without being tackled, I have to be able to see where all these guys are. I have to be able to, okay, they’re trying to get me from this, but I don’t have to like train myself because I’ve already been training as a kid to just do it naturally.

Derrick:                            But one of the greatest things about hearing loss that I can always say, and everybody always, you guys heard me multiple times. We have selective hearing. I can turn my hearing aids off whenever I want. You know what, click, click, I got this, I got this. You know? And it’s just because of that, that’s the upbeat of it. But that also took, you know, I’m doing a test in class and people finish and started chatting, it was too loud. I turned it off. Focus. You know, I have that option. But at the end of the day, with every disadvantage, with every something, you always can make into advantage, 100%. And or, if you can’t, look at all the bright sides, you know, my hearing isn’t coming back, this is the hearing I was dealt with, and now, okay, I’m not gonna dwell on thinking that I’m going to keep going. How do I get over this? What’s the next step? What do I gotta do in order to be successful and whatever the next chapter in life is.

Tatum:                             Yeah, that’s really interesting. One thing that you mentioned a while back that I wanted to follow up on, but it kind of goes hand-in-hand with your foundation, is I think you mentioned you hadn’t met another person with hearing loss until you were in high school, so what’s your connection to the deaf community now and how has that kind of changed you, what impact has that had on you to have a bigger connection to the deaf community?

Derrick:                            Myself and the deaf community. I’m basically intermingling right now and trying to make myself known and trying to make sure that hard of hearing kids now are growing up and seeing that. Okay. Just because you have a problem doesn’t mean that you have a chain on your ankle. You can’t go anywhere. You can keep going. Like you’re free, you’re just gonna need some things that help you out. But all the way up until about high school, I had an audiologist named Nancy and she was the one that made sure I’m working with my mom, make sure I have my FM system, make sure the teachers know. She worked for the Fullerton school district. And so once I got to college, you know, I don’t really need a audiologist, you know, cause she’s working with the district, so it kinda… but I always stayed close with her.

Derrick:                            Because literally the first day, I’m a first generation college student, you know, I went to UCLA. My parents went to college later on in life. And as soon as I get there I remember playing football. Okay. You know, doing the whole introduction. And about halfway through my freshman year, Nancy called my mom and then my mom hits me and was like, “Hey, we think it’s great that you’re playing football. You got a full ride scholarship at a D1 school. You’re also hard of hearing. It would be great to come back to a local college, a local high school and just talk to a couple kids, you know, about your experience, just relate to them.”

Derrick:                            And so without any question I was like, “Yeah, no problem, when? So we went to Katella High School, which is in Anaheim, California, right next to Disneyland, actually, and it was about five as six, I remember it was about five or six kids and their parents, they had some pizza, went there during lunch break, and really it was just talking to them. And that was the first time when I felt that I was even okay, this is a community, like, you know, this is, they’re all looking at me as a big figure. And I’m still looking at everybody else, looking up to everybody else. Like, Oh, I’m just a nobody. I made it to college, man. Like I didn’t even thought I’d be able to do that. So that’s when I felt like okay maybe we are one. Cause all the problems that Nancy was telling me that they were having, all of their faces, the expression that they’re showing. I felt almost every one of them before, whether I was their age or now. So that’s when I was like, okay, after that whole session, I looked at Nancy like, let me know when’s the next one, when can we keep this going? Because I wanted to make sure that one, I wanted to see more people but I also wanted to see it with my peers. Two, I also wanted to let the kids know like, “Hey, I made it to college. You can.”

Derrick:                            I mean, like, honestly, it really isn’t that hard. You just, they test you on what you’re reading in the book and your knowledge of it, honestly, that’s it. Like, it has nothing really to do with the fact that you can’t really hear that well. I got to college and that was the greatest thing because I ended up having a note taker, which was, because my biggest thing is I can’t take notes. I can’t listen to what you say, take notes, put my head down and then look back. Cause everything you’re saying while my head down, it’s just my, my fail-safe that I just had, reading lips, is gone. So like I said, once you get to college it actually became easier for me because it was, the structure was there. So, get to college, doing that, make it to the NFL, the long route of course. Oh, FYI, you kind of introduced me saying, you know, started in the NFL in 2012 with the Seattle Seahawks. Trivia fact, I actually started with Minnesota Vikings right out of college and then that didn’t work out. I had a turf toe after the third preseason game, at home for a few months, then went to Seattle. And then when I was in Seattle, they actually just brought me in as a practice squad player, I was still a running back and so I was, have me for the rest of the season, through playoffs, the following year, signed me to a contract, a future contract and halfway through the beginning of the year say, “Hey, we want to move your position,” move me from running back to fullback. So I went from running away from people to running to people, which also changed my mom’s fear too, because now I’m doing a lot more hitting. Now my hearing aids are a lot more involved, which actually really didn’t, you’re not supposed to hit with your head, you’re supposed to hit with your shoulder. So that helped me out. But as I made the team, we’re just having a great year in 2013, Duracell came and they was like, “Hey, we heard you have a great story. We think it would be great with the campaign.” And the first thing I said was to my media relations, “Yeah, no problem. Yeah. That’s free hearing aids? That’s free hearing aid batteries? Oh yeah. Those things are expensive.” So I’m thinking free batteries, like my remote control. I’m never gonna have to worry about nothing.” And, so as we started talking my main focus even then was okay, like my main audience I want is to make sure it’s the hard of hearing/deaf community, because that’s ultimately like if you’re going to put me out on a big screen or something, I want to make sure that they see that as well. And we ended up doing it within, filming everything within 24 hours. A week later, doing the voice over. And it became something that I couldn’t even fathom. It gave me chills because it wasn’t so much as my own little commercial or nothing like that. It was just that, maybe that was the first time I realized, okay, I just overcame a lot of stuff. I overcame a lot of barriers and I was proud that I showed the other kids that, hey, this is a small percentage of people already make it to the NFL. And now you want to take a hard-of-hearing/deaf guy and make it to the NFL. So, when it blew up, the foundation was also created because I wanted to make sure I stay in touch with the deaf community. I realized that it wasn’t actually just touching the hard-of-hearing/deaf community. It was touching everybody who’d ever dealt with any obstacles, anybody whoever’s overcome struggle. And anybody whoever has had the percentages weighed against them.

Derrick:                            My mentality was everybody keep asking me, “How did you do it, man? Like, I just don’t get how’d you it?” And I was just, I just wanted to be better and I was just being me. I was just going to be me. I didn’t make any excuses for it. Like when you really, really want something in life, you’re going to find a way to get it done, no matter what, you know, think back to when you were a kid, you really wanted that Barbie doll. You really wanted that PlayStation or whatever you did, whatever you possibly could to make sure your parents thought that I’m being good. Like, let me get it. But mind you, when you flip it around, when your parents tell you  take out the trash or do your choice. You made every excuse in the book, not to do it. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when you really want something, you’ll find a way. That’s the mentality that we have to have just in life. That’s the mentality that I when my mom told me I couldn’t be shy, said that I don’t have a choice, but to do that. You know, and as hard as it is, that’s what I want to teach these kids. And these hard-of-hearing kids, even the hard-of-hearing adults and just is this the hand we’re dealt, you know? And in order to be like, we can dwell on it and sit here and watch the world, pass it by, or we can make the best of it. And just by being the best you can possibly be every day, not making any excuses, you know, every barrier I come across, I’m like, okay…, okay, I’m gonna go around it or I’m going to go over it. I’m not about to sit there and just admire and like, let it defeat me.

Derrick:                            So yeah, I’ve always tried to make sure that they’ve seen it and that’s kind of why I made a, I was able to, after we won the Super Bowl, all the great stuff, I was approached and was able to make a book. They were saying, “Hey, we want to write a book about your life and everything.” And I was happy about it because so, not so much to making the book. Again, it was, I keep getting so many things. So how do you do this? How do you do that? How did you do that, asking my parents. So to have a book, it’s just that they can do read than just me sitting here, explaining in my life, explaining what I’ve been through and finding these different paths that I wish I could have take, wish I didn’t, as a self-help book. I wasn’t trying to make the, you know, New York bestseller and all that. I was just trying to have a self-help book for these kids like, Hey, how did you do this? I’m going to tell them, Hey, I got this book out here. And, I made it just for you. All the proceeds for the “No Excuses” book, it’s just right behind me actually, it’s beautiful.

Derrick:                            All of that proceeds goes to the foundation. You know, I’m not trying to make a profit of it. I made this foundation, it’s online, to make sure that once I’m done, once I’m like, keep going, it’s online, when people see it, Oh man. Like they would call me the first Super Bowl champ. First, legally deaf Super Bowl champ. Wait, he was deaf and won a Super Bowl? Wait, how did that work? So just that already will keep people mind working. If he did that, then ain’t no telling, work and keep going. And, there’s a lot of great things in life to do.

Derrick:                            And I think as the hard-of-hearing/deaf community, the more things that, the more time that I can be associated with it, the biggest thing that I see is the fear and it’s just fear of the unknown basically.

Derrick:                            You know, nobody, they don’t. They know, okay. If I go out there and how’s that going to be, like, are they going to make fun of me or are they going to see my hearing aids and not want to socialize. Are they going to like, not want to play? Like kids are having that issue. So to be able to show them to be able to see, show them and be on social media now or whatever, the just be like, “Hey, I’m doing everything. I’m going out, riding bikes, I’m doing everything, I’m socializing.” You know, maybe later I’ll start doing some interviews with former players, former classmates on how, how was it like? I want to get your perception. What’s your thought process? Cause when I was a young kid, I was so worried about your thought process. Now I want to ask you to get it, so these kids can understand what their friends are thinking of as well. You know, or get Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, the guys that I played with and just get, sit them down. Man, we was in the trenches with a hundred thousand people. people just screaming, didn’t even wanna… They just wanted to eat our head off. Like you knew I had hearing loss, you knew all of that stuff. What was your thought process? Like what was your thought process when you first met me? How are you going to deal with it and [inaudible]? So they see, “Oh man, maybe, really, cause I’ve talked to a few of them. And they’ve all said, like they really don’t care. Everybody has problems. But when we get into white line, when we all try to get to one goal, everything else don’t matter.

Derrick:                            As long as everybody’s trying to go for the same goal, we’re all trying to win a football game. My teachers and myself, we’re all trying to make sure I get As and go on to college. Or when I was in college, make sure I graduated college through the best possible way. At the end of the day, we’re trying to make sure that I can hear. And as long as we have all that dialed in, okay, let’s go, like, let’s go have some fun. That’s what I’m taking from all of them. Like there’s, we all have something that we want to worry about. You know, we always have. So as a hard-of-hearing kid, as a hard-of-hearing teenage and adult and everything, that’s the number thing I always tell kids is be yourself. Meaning be the best you can possibly be every day.

Derrick:                            Be better today than you were yesterday and be better tomorrow than you are today. And then with that, don’t make any excuses in life. You can’t, thinking back to all the time you made excuses in the past. Yeah, you got away with a lie. I mean, some people did some people didn’t, but at the end of the day, did it really get you what you really wanted? Did it really get your ultimate goal of being the best basketball player, being the best father, being the best football player or whatever your goal is, being the best teacher, whatever your goal is in life, you know, you can’t make any excuses doing it. And if you’re hard-of-hearing, that you really can’t make any excuses, and that’s where you can’t be shy.

Wendy:                            Derrick, you’re amazing.

Derrick:                            Uh, nah, I’m just [inaudible].

Wendy:                            Well, it’s great. I mean, it’s, it’s really, I mean you’re really inspiring. It’s really great for other kids to hear your voice, hear your story, it is really important. We always, you know to us, to me and Tatum, and maybe to you now, hearing loss is such a big part of our lives because it’s what we do, but it is a smaller community, we call it this low-incidence need because you know cause it’s 1 to 3 children in every 1000 are born with hearing loss, to have representation from people like you is really important and it’s really cool.

Derrick:                            And that’s one of those where I also tell them, I think somebody told me not to tell these people, like somebody told me like, Hey, if, if I, if you was over there broke, do I go in and some millionaire came up to you and said, “Hey man, you need to save your money.” And that guy came from old money. He always had money. Family always had money. You’re going to look at him and be like, Oh, okay man, maybe. Yeah. Okay. Whatever. But if you have somebody, a millionaire come up to you that lost all his money and then got it back through hard work, dedication and tell you, “Hey man, you need to save your money. You need to do this, this and this.” You’re more than likely you’re going listen to him. Cause you can relate to him.

Derrick:                            You can see. And as we mentioned earlier, I didn’t really meet a deaf adult or see a deaf adult until I got to high school. Marlee Matlin is an Academy award actress that I had chance to meet. And she’s completely deaf, with hearing aids, barely…signs and everything. And when I met her I’m like it’s crazy. I made it in the NFL where I never thought like somebody can do that. And, acting well. Like even I’m still being shocked and amazed of the, what we can accomplish. All the people that are doing. We have, there’s the hard-of-hearing/deaf DJ that I met back when, in 2013, just through networking. You know, I was talking, he can hear with hearing aids, but I’m like, man, you got the vocals. You got all of that.

Derrick:                            And like he said, it’s all about preparing, like what I was telling you earlier, taking care of the little thing before it becomes a big thing. Good thing about hearing loss and everything is we hear the bass, we hear the feeling, the vibration. That’s a lot. When I listen to music, like you go in my car, you might put some earplugs in because I got three sub-woofers so that is just boom. Cause I feel it, that’s what I’m looking for, I take my hearing aids out if I have to, and that’s what he doing. The vocals and all that. He takes care of that before, he knows what he’s going to do at home. He like practices it multiple times. If somebody request it, like he prepared himself. So there’s always ways around it, like every barrier, there’s different things to bring you concurrent and one of the biggest thing that, in college to keep me going.

Derrick:                            And of course there’s the whole hard time now. And we had President Obama as the president, you know, the first black president and I’m not looking at it as hard of hearing. I’m looking at as these barriers that are gonna happen in life. And every, no matter whether you’re hard-of-hearing, whether you’re black, whether you’re white, whether, whatever your situation is, there’s always going to be barriers. And our mind state is to be true to who you are, be you and be the best you can be. There’s time where I’m playing in the football game. I’m sick this whole time. We thought Jordan had the flu game and it’s really pizza. And it was the best game he ever had, or playoff game. It really, I am like, the people always say give 110%. Okay. That’s a good saying. Motivation. Me, I give everything you have. You only have 70%. Give me all that 70%. You only have 80%. Give me everything you have, give everything you had to whatever you’re doing. It’s sometimes, I’m not feeling it, but I’m not going to make an excuse. I’m just going to give it what I have, everything, because nine times out of 10, that could just be enough. That could just be what gets you over there, gets you to that next level. So yeah.

Wendy:                            Derrick, what else, is there anything that we haven’t asked you that you want to talk about?

Derrick:                            Not really, I mean, just telling the life story, just telling them my experience as I go kind of what my, the No Excuse book is. I’m 29 years old. I still think I’m young.

Wendy:                            You’re young.

Derrick:                            But I’m 29 years old and I’m still learning a lot, you know, but with everything that I’ve been through in life, I know that, using football as a platform, using Duracell, the whole commercial I’m in a position to help. And I always say if I talked to a hundred kids if I get to one of them, that’s good enough for me, because I know that one kid might end up becoming great, overcoming the barrier of opening doors that nobody thought can be open by that person. And he can make that domino effect and inspire one person, because I feel like the best way we can inspire is by the way we live. That’s, it, you know, we can say yes with our mouth, but with our body and our action and our condition. That’s how we say yes. And, I know me being out socially, one of the biggest things I do is I hate social media.

Derrick:                            I think it’s a double edged sword. And I love it, you know, but I’ve never really been that type to be a role model, you know, like, “Oh, you’re a big role model.” And, one of the biggest things I tell people is I’m not, I don’t like to be seen as a role model, I like to be seen as a mentor. I’m just trying to tell the kids, “Hey, these are the mistakes I made. These are the great things that I did to be successful, maybe to overcome the mistakes. I mean, everything is still your choice. You know, I want us to see you succeed,” you know, that’s all I can do, and be consistent with it. So, you know, role models, always, you gotta be on the narrow, straightened path. And as a young kid, I’m still learning.

Derrick:                            I think I talked to a seminar full of 300 or so. I think it was the Walmart corporation or something a few years back and I’m looking in the crowd and everybody is way older than me. I’m like, what am I, normally I’m telling them, like, how to live their life, you gotta have confidence. And I realized that it’s not really that it’s just, like I said, it’s the conviction of me just telling them this is what I did. And I, I defied all odds by making the NFL like, and being hard-of-hearing and deaf. So if I did it, and I’m just a guy that came from the same background as 99% of Americans, then what makes you think that you can’t do it?

Wendy:                            Well I know you said you don’t love social media, but maybe you can tell everybody where they can follow you, how can they find out more about you, how they can get your book?

Derrick:                            Now I love social media, you know, because I know how to do it and everything. One of the biggest things as well too, is I always see people posts and I’m a very humble guy. My mom raised me as that, scored a touchdown celebrate with your teammates go, you never make it all about you. So, you know, me even wearing this shirt that I just made, it’s kind of feel weird cause I’m promoting myself, but I’m promoting the cause, you know, the way you go about it. I’m like, I don’t want to ever be like, Hey, here I am, look at me. So, but now that, I’ve been educated and everything, I’m definitely on Instagram @dlc.jr5. I’m on Facebook as well. I have a Facebook page and then I have a normal Facebook, and it’s just Derrick Coleman Jr, RB.

Derrick:                            I also have a foundation, No Excuse Foundation. No Excuse, without the “s” in the middle. And I’m still working on that website right now, actually. You’re going to be able to see interviews. I’m going to start playing some of my old clips from when I was playing. You’re going to see the angle that the NFL was seeing. You know, just kinda show the kids that, “Hey, I was doing this,” Hey, maybe one of the plays where I couldn’t hear and I had to run up so they could see that, you know, so that’d be going through the website.

Derrick:                            Maybe do some football camps later or maybe, just sport camp, you know, bring all, um, bring the hard-of-hearing kids, but also bring hearing kids, you know, I want to be able to bridge that gap. Because at the end of the day, so that way, when they bridge that gap, the hard-of-hearing kids get that confidence. And then the hearing kids also get the confidence that, “Hey, like, you know, we don’t never got to use a excuse.” They know that they’re the same. We all have the same goal. Like we was just born different, we just turned out different. Some people need glasses, some people need hearing aids, hearing aids. Some people need Adderall for ADHD/ADD. Like everybody has something we’re all just trying to have fun and laugh. That’s all we’re trying to do in life and be successful.

Tatum:                             Yeah it sounds likes you have a lot of really cool things planned for your foundation. So the way we like to close out usually is asking if you have any advice, either for our listeners, also with your experience, it’d be interesting to hear if you have advice for coaches, teachers working with kids who have hearing loss.

Derrick:                            I feel like it’s the same, everything that I preach is always the same. It’s be you be, the best that you possibly be. Man, everybody, all the audiologists, all the parents, you know, since the fact that you two are working with hard-of-hearing kids, you guys want to work with them. That already shows a lot, you know, that already shows that the will is there, the determination is there. When it comes with the kids, I mean just being persistent and all of that. Some people say, “Oh, you gotta have patience and everything.” But if I look back onto my life, the way my mom worked, the way she was very persistent with me and didn’t let me use it as an excuse. The things that she was patient on was, yeah. “Okay. I want him to be advocate for himself. Okay. Maybe I need to help. I need to show him the way I need to…” But she was always in there. She never,… “Oh when he got comfortable. Okay. I’m really going in there.” I thought she was nagging me about it, but little did I know she was really just trying to make sure that, okay, this is the standard. That, that, there’s nothing below this. You know, she made me, of course I’m a star and everything. She made me feel special in every different way, but at the same time, that mentality that I’m nobody special that’s where she thinks, you’re nobody special. Everything you’ve been everything you’re going through, somebody has been through before.

Derrick:                            Meaning that, you gotta be careful the way you say this to a lot of kids, but you’re trying to make sure that, Hey, like all you’re doing is going through some troubles, all you’re doing is going through trials and [inaudble]. So all you have to do to make sure that they have the support system. They have, they know that you’re there for them 100%. As anybody that’s going through hard times wants. You know, nobody wants to go through hard times alone. And as I’m noticing now, just making sure that they stay out of their head a lot. Because now as I’m growing, I think I noticed it in the last few months, actually growing up, as I mentioned earlier, I kinda felt like I was the only child. I felt like I was the only one going. So I was in my head a lot. I was thinking, Oh, maybe that person don’t like me, maybe this thing, maybe I can’t do that. Maybe.” So when you stay out of your head, make sure they have the confidence to just, okay, don’t make it in your head. Say it. I’m here for you. Where you at? “Hey, did that person like me? Should I, could I?” The reason I’m saying that now, because when you’re in your head or you just don’t really think clearly you’re not thinking of all the other things. Like there’s some people when they can be sitting there and you thinking they’re having a bad day, but no, that just their facial expression, they could be lost in a thought. So don’t based on that, cause like I said we look at facial expression. If you don’t look welcoming and all that, you’re not, we don’t just, so stay out of your head. “Hey, how you doing? My name is Derrick. Hey, how are you doing? This and this, Hey, you want to go?” I’m just going to ask. If they say no, Don’t be shy. And that’s the biggest thing that you guys, that I, that teachers, that parents can tell the kids is don’t be shy because the best of them are gonna come out. Right. My mom didn’t have to teach me how to be great.

Wendy:                             Derrick, thank you so much for joining us. When we’re able to travel again and you’re ever in Chicago you have to come visit us.

Derrick:                            Oh, 100%.

Wendy:                            We would love that.

Derrick:                            Oh, 100%. I’ve only been to Chicago once, that’s just to play. And it was beautiful. I mean, it was, we stayed right there in downtown and where, it kind of remind me of New York a little bit with the train tracks and like underneath. And I was kind of hoping to get a hot dog or something.

Wendy:                            Well next time you come to Chicago, we’ll definitely buy you a hot dog.

Derrick:                            Sounds good to me.

Tatum:                              Thank you so much. This has been amazing. And I think our listeners, and especially the parents who listen to our show are really going to appreciate everything you shared with us.

Wendy:                            Yeah, definitely.

Tatum:                             Okay, well, thank you Derrick. Thank you so much for joining us and this is our very first episode we’ve ever recorded over zoom, and we’re so excited that our listeners will not only be able to hear this episode but also watch it. Thank you everyone for joining us for another episode of All Ears at Child’s Voice. Be sure to join us for our next episode. Right now we are not sticking to a set schedule with everything going on but we are aiming to release one episode a month so we encourage you to subscribe to the show so you don’t miss our next episode.

Wendy:                            If you’d like to reach out to us, you can find us on twitter and Instagram. I’m @wendydetersSLP and you can find Tatum @tatumfritzSLP.

Tatum:                             You can also email us at podcast@childsvoice.org and if you’d like to hear your voice on the show, you can send in a voice memo using your phone’s voice memo app. If you need help with that, there is a link in our show notes that will explain how to make a voice memo using an iPhone or an android. Email us that voice memo to podcast@childsvoice.org.

Wendy:                             You can find show notes and episode transcripts on our website, childsvoice.org/podcast.

Tatum:                             And if you’re interested in learning more about Child’s Voice, Child’s Voice is on Facebook, as well as twitter and Instagram, with the handle @childs_voice, no apostrophe. And then we didn’t say this earlier but we’ll also link all of Derrick’s social media in the show notes.

Wendy:                            And where you can buy his book and everything so you can follow him, and we’ll definitely try to keep in touch as much as we can.

Tatum:                             Yeah, so we’ll see you next time. Bye.

Wendy:                            Bye.

CV Students:                   BYE, THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Kim:                                  Thanks for tuning in. We hope you enjoyed this episode. Stay tuned for our next episode, next month. Be sure to visit our Child’s Voice website, and check out our virtual golf outing in support of all of their excellent programs.