SULPHUR, OK (KSWO) - A Duncan native and student at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf will get the opportunity to speak at the state capitol on Tuesday for People with Disabilities Awareness Day.
14-year-old Parker Simpson is a freshman at OSD and has severe hearing loss in both ears, but he's not letting it stop him from reaching his dreams and inspire others along the way.
Parker said he is very excited, but is also a little nervous! He's spoken in public before, but this will be his first time speaking at the State Capitol. His message to others is simple.No matter what happens in life you can always push through it. Regardless of the obstacles you face, believe in yourself, and everything will turn out good.
Parker Simpson is involved in just about every club at OSD. He's already traveled to New York City, and Washington DC participating in different activities for the school and he is a star athlete.
"I'm starting quarterback on the football team, I'm on the Academic Team, Key Club, and I was in the Student Government Association, said Simpson.
But, things haven't always been good for Simpson, before coming to OSD three years ago, he was enrolled in public schools and had trouble in the classroom.
"I was faced with not being able to hear the teachers. If I asked them to repeat themselves they wouldn't and they though I was stupid," said Simpson.
Simpson's hearing was declining and on top of being placed into special need classes, he was bullied by his classmates.
"The older I got the worse it got. The more I figured out my hearing was going down the more it affected my life," Simpson said.
Simpson said it was tough not having anyone to help him and as a results he started failing in school.
"I would turn in most of my papers late or not at all. It made me just sit in my room depressed all the time. It was hard not getting the help that the other kids were getting," said Simpson.
But Parker didn't lose sight of his goals and he wasn't going to let his hearing disability stop him from being successful. After coming to OSD located in Sulphur, Oklahoma in the sixth grade, he blossomed and improved.
"I've excelled I went from D's and F's to straight a straight A student just having that complete communication between people and knowing that even if I didn't hear them or understand what they said they would help me with that," said Simpson.
Despite the challenges Simpson faced he had this advice to say to others who may be in a similar situation.
"That they're awesome and they can inspire many people around them that if they keep doing what they're doing life will not only reward you but life will help you through a lot of things," said Simpson.
Parker also told me if it wasn't for the teachers and the support team at OSD he would have dropped put of school. He already has big goals in life and wants to become a mechanical engineer.
He will share his story with a student from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on Tuesday with friends, family. They want lawmakers to understand there are no barriers for people with disabilities to finding jobs and leading independent lives.