Deaf South Asian Americans: Shaji’s First Days in America

Shaji_FirstDaysShaji Chacko is a Deaf Indian American who grew up in the Philadelphia area, after immigrating to the US from Hyderabad in the early 80s. I learned about Shaji through the grapevine of Deaf South Asian Americans in the east coast, after his brother and his mother contributed their experiences to SAADA as well. I look forward to interviewing Shaji, in-depth, this October during the Metro South Asian Deaf Association‘s 10th Anniversary mela!

This is another video in a series of stories I’m collecting, documenting the experiences of the Deaf South Asian American community in Washington, DC. These stories are a part of the permanent collection with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). While these interviews do not represent the entire community, they certainly offer some insight.

This story is part of SAADA’s project launch, “First Days” in which South Asian Americans describe their unforgettable experiences upon arriving and settling in the US.

In this video, Shaji describes learning about new weather and four strong seasons in America and the real reason (the poignant reason) he and his mother moved to the US first.

Check out his story:

Shaji’s bio:

I was born in Hyderabad, India. I became deaf at the age of 3 1/2 years due to high fever. I migrated to the United States on March 5, 1983 and I live in Philadelphia, PA. I received my Bachelor degree in Computer and Information Sciences from Temple University. I married my deaf wife with two beautiful daughters. I am web application developer for a living.

**Special thanks to: Robbie Sutton for his help with this project!

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