Hearing Loss Article – Derrick Coleman Of The Seattle Seahawks

Derrick Lamont Coleman was born on October 18, 1990 and is the first legally deaf offensive in the history of the National Football League, playing for the Seattle Seahawks. After playing college football for the University of California Los Angeles, he was signed on as an un-drafted free agent in 2012 by the Minnesota Vikings. Diagnosed as deaf when he was three years old, Coleman worked with an audiologist named Nancy Adzovich from third grade until the end of high school in Troy High School after which he got accepted and played football for the UCLA. Before Coleman was signed with the Seahawks in December, 2012 Coleman was un-drafted even after scoring 11 touchdowns during his senior year in UCLA and rushed more than 700 yards and even though he got signed on as a free agent by the Vikings, he got cut in the training camp.

Being able to get past the first wall of the disability is for Coleman, the most difficult thing about him being deaf. Coleman adds that despite his disability, being able to play for the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl is proof that despite the odds, people can be what they want to be and achieve what they want to achieve. Although the reason for his hearing loss is never diagnosed, Coleman now wears hearing aids that help improve his hearing quite significantly. But how does he hear his quarterback considering the noise levels in a football stadium. In order to hear his quarterback during huddles, Coleman positions himself either directly in front of the quarterback or right next to the quarterback so he can hear clearly or read the quarterback’s lips; if the huddle breaks and Coleman did not hear the play clearly, he simply asks the quarterback to tell him again which the latter willingly does.

Coleman states he is a “pretty good” lip reader and cites lip reading as his back up plan. He adds that he would not have managed to finish college and would not have gotten as far as he have if he did not hone his lip reading skills. The story of Derrick Coleman was recently featured in a commercial that he agreed to do so he can inspire others. He adds that the commercial enables him to reach out to people and become an inspiration that despite being deaf, they can achieve dreams.

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