PLAINVILLE - A local family will be featured tonight on A&Eâ€™s new documentary series â€śDeaf Out Loud.â€ť
The Posner family consists of deaf husband and wife Mick and Rachel, both of whom are educators, and their children, 9-year-old Faith and 7-year-old Henry, who attend Toffolon Elementary School.
Faith has progressive hearing loss and wears two hearing aids. Henry, Rachel Posner said, is â€śprofoundly deafâ€ť and gets by with one hearing aid. The other, she said, is of no benefit to him.
Rachel Posner said the goal of â€śDeaf Out Loudâ€ť is to show â€śhow unique the deaf community can be.â€ť
â€śOne of the strongest ways to portray that is through raising families because it involves so many dynamics, challenges and triumphs, along with the importance of advocating for what is best for our children in terms of language and education,â€ť she said. â€śThereâ€™s no right or wrong way as long as it works best for your child. Itâ€™s important to us to be parents first.â€ť
Rachel Posner said that the children are she and her husbandâ€™s â€śpride and joy.â€ť
â€śThere is no one size fits all and as parents our main goal is that they be happy,â€ť she said.
She said teachers have worked well together for her children.
â€śMy kids are blessed to have a close-knit group of educators working together, from the teacher of the deaf to their classroom teachers,â€ť said Rachel Posner.
Mick Posner said Faith and Henry enjoy music and sports.
â€śMy daughter is in choir, where she stands up front for lip-reading reasons and enjoys making music,â€ť he said. â€śMy son is currently enrolled in private guitar lessons to give him that personal instruction time. They also love sports. Unfortunately hearing instructions was difficult.
â€śAlso, Henry had some health concerns that prevented him from playing contact sports directly. Instead, we focus on rock climbing, which is all core-building strengths and it doesnâ€™t require too much team effort or daunting listening steps.
â€śFaith is back at dance after taking a hiatus due to her progressive hearing loss and lack of confidence. Itâ€™s a challenge, but they do their best and we are proud.â€ť
Mick Posner grew up in Coram, N.Y., where he attended public school. He later attended Longwood High School in Middle Island, N.Y. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelorâ€™s and masterâ€™s degrees. He later received a second masterâ€™s from Central Connecticut State University. He has taught at Conard and Hall high schools in West Hartford for the past three years.
Rachel Posner said she was born and raised in Waterbury.
â€śI was fully mainstreamed until my senior year,â€ť she said. â€śI then transferred to the American School for the Deaf to learn sign. I felt the best way was to become immersed into the culture completely. Upon graduation I went to Gallaudet University [in Washington] and then transferred to RIT to obtain my B.S. and M.S. in education.
â€śI started my career at the American School for the Deaf, where I stayed for a good number of years before becoming a stay-at-home mother for my kids. There werenâ€™t any resources available for day care to provide full accessibility to deaf children. I have absolute no regrets and loved every minute of it. Early intervention played a huge part in their success.
â€śI currently work for the Silas Deane Middle School [in Wethersfield] with deaf students, along with teaching ASL at Naugatuck Valley Community College.â€ť
Rachel Posner said she is also an advocate for the deaf with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Rachel Posner said she and her husband will be joining a family friend, Dr. Heather Carter, for a viewing party tonight. The show airs at 8 p.m. and midnight.
â€śShe has generously opened her home and sponsored the event,â€ť said Rachel Posner.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.