Deaf American Entrepreneur- Ken Heath

Through a friend, I managed to meet a man who was traveling through Colombia who is a deaf American.  Originally from North Carolina he owns a large plot of land which he converted into a camp ground. 

He went to an all deaf high school and graduated from Gallaudet, the only all deaf university in the world.  

He employs other deaf workers in his business.  He makes Cad drawings of structures he will build and he cuts the wood into kits.

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buyers can choose to have their kits constructed or to construct it themselves.image_8

After building his business he has decided to take some time off to travel and that is how he found himself in Colombia.  He also loves to ride his motor cycle and has made a coast to cost tour of the US and has big plans to ride from Alaska to Argentina on his bike.

BEING DEAF IN COLOMBIA:

Deaf people here in Colombia have just had a major break though in human rights in that they now have a right to a free education in that they now have access to free interpretation.  All the deaf students in Cartagena have to go to one primary school in the city if they want free interpretation and they can go to one of 2 high schools mine, or one further south.  There are opportunities for deaf students to go to college and so far no one from my institution has ever gone.  

Even though there has been this break though, many are stuck with the sentiment that they are disabled and that they are incapable of doing many things. A lot of this comes from the parents. For example, one 20 year old deaf student at my school laments, “my mom still walks me to school every day, because she thinks I’ll get lost.” 

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Ken came in and told his life story and talked to the kids about being successful and independent.  

The kids asked over 10 times if he was really deaf and one straight up asked him if he was lying.

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 They were interested in his business and how he made money for himself, but it wasn’t until he started talking about his plans to do an Alaska Argentina motorcycle ride that they started to really get excited and ask a lot of questions.  

Here is a like to the video of them asking about his trip:

Link to YouTube Video

Overall, the kids were a buzz and we’ve asked Ken to come back and speak to the parents, as well as the other schools in Cartagena and he has happily accepted!

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