(About this story: Author Austin Rutland conducted some interviews for this story in American Sign Language. Please note that Deaf with a capital “D” is commonly used to refer to people and communities that use American Sign Language as their primary language, while deaf with a lowercase “d” is used in correlation to auditory status and deaf/hard of hearing individuals that use English as their primary language.)
By Austin Rutland
Noah Hancock sits at the dining room table, piled high with food and decorations, during Christmas dinner with his family. The table is set for 10, and his mother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins begin to fill their plates with food.