It was such an honour to attend the 2017 AMPHL conference. I can’t begin to describe in words, what this conference meant to me. When I was in growing up in Indonesia, I was told that deaf and hard of hearing people could not be scientists or work in health care. Sadly, my family thought the same too. Determined, I went online and read about these amazing deaf and hard of hearing scientists and doctors from Canada and USA. I was so excited to tell my family about their stories and believed I could do the same.
Yesterday, I found myself talking with a hearing friend – a fellow neuropsychologist – about the AMPHL conference in Rochester, NY. Although the Rochester conference is now two weeks past, I found it amusing that I was excited to share with him the ins-and-outs of the conference as if I just got off the most awesome ride at Disney World.
I think many of us who were in Rochester from the 9th to the 11th of June share the same sentiments. The conference is over, yet many of us are still talking about it. A prior AMPHL board member, Megan Jack, MD, aptly stated, “We need to come up with an ICD code for ‘Post-AMPHLitis.’ I so miss the sense of community and all the laughter already!”
“Can it be done? Can I be a deaf medical professional?” First-time attendees told me they came to the conference to find this out for themselves. They joined nearly 300 attendees—a record for AMPHL, doubling our previous attendance.
To our hosts at RIT/NTID who outdid themselves: we are so grateful you wanted to take on our conference and show our community what’s possible. To co-Chairs Scott Smith and Kathy Miraglia who shouldered so much, to Gerry Buckley who said yes, and to all the other conference volunteers and staff who made the magic happen—we felt the love (and the tears and sweat) you put into making this weekend on your campus a home for 300 dreamers.
At the recent AMPHL 2017 Rochester conference hosted at RIT/NTID, the AMPHL board had its biennial in person meeting. The entire board including the newly elected members were able to come with the exception of one and a successful handoff to the new board was done. Many thanks to our outgoing board members who have spent the last few years (or 12! – in the case of Chris Moreland) working hard to ensure AMPHL fulfills its mission. We look forward to seeing what the next two years bring!