Whenever I think of a person making people who have a physical disability feel like they are just as normal as everyone else, I immediately think of two people. The first I think of are Special Olympics volunteers and the second I think of are sign language interpreters.
Brian Guendling, defensive end for the Texas State Bobcats, may not be a professional interpreter, but he sure knows enough sign language to put on an awesome concert for the hearing impaired.
CBSSports shared a video of Guendling leading his team in a sign language rendition of Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk” that gained a lot of popularity near the end of 2014. It was pretty special and seemed like a fun time.
Guendling, son of former San Diego linebacker and second round draft pick in 1984 Mike Guendling, grew up knowing all about disabilities. Brian has two uncles, Mike’s brothers, who are both blind and were mentally handicapped.
He knew he wanted to help others and he shared his life story on his YouTube page. He said, ” During my junior year of high school I had to take a foreign language class and decided to take American Sign Language at the local University. I absolutely fell in love with it and thought it was so awesome to be able to talk to the deaf. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to help coach a mentally challenged/ deaf baseball team and I would donate my Saturdays to the special needs. I hung out with many deaf kids in San Diego once I learned fluent sign language and I still keep in touch with them today all the way from Texas.”
He continued, “Then I asked other deaf people in Texas and California if they have ever been to a concert. ALL responded “NO”!! But every single one of them replied that they would WANT TO ATTEND A CONCERT! When I told them about my idea of performing sign language during concerts they all got so excited, and told me to do it.”
This was certainly a great way to show that you care about other people, no matter how different they may be. It isn’t any fault of the hearing impaired that they are deaf. Good on you, Brian and Texas State.