My profound deafness has never stopped me from participating. In this case, I was the “Point Contact” person at this particular staging area on the island of Kauai during the Japan Tsunami evacuation. Everyone was coming up to me asking me for details. I was sharing any information I received from the Red Cross office, via my iPhone. It was a very different experience to be the Deaf guy with the information, rather than the other way around. It was empowering. It was a real eye opener for the individuals who came up to ask me any questions. Once they realized I was Deaf, and if they wanted current information, they were going to have to speak just a little slower and be a little more patient. It happened just as it should. People spoke more slowly and carefully because they understood that I was lip reading. Everyone wanted to know where the restrooms were! That part was simple. Most of these folks were tourists to Kauai. I was trying to show them the aloha spirit, in spite of the situation. In turn, they were patient with me. I did, however, notice the looks on a few people’s faces. They were actually surprised that a Deaf guy was “in charge.” The experience was empowering for me, and educational for the general public. More power to all us Deaf folks who become Red Cross Volunteers!