John Wyvill

Wyvill_small photo

  • Please tell us your name.

John C. Wyvill

  • Are you Deaf?  Hard of Hearing?  Other?

Deaf

  • What mode or modes of communication do you use? 

Two: Oral – English

Continuing to improve in ASL

  • Please tell us about your experience in school.  What schools did you attend for elementary school, high school and college?  What did you like and dislike about those schools?

I went to a combination of public and private mainstream schools growing up. After high school, I graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and UALR School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas.  I went to school before ADA (I am dating myself) and school was hard.  Medically speaking, I had 95% hearing loss in both ears, wore one hearing aid and relied on coping strategies and lip reading all the way through law school.  (This is before they had CART, note takers, or other communication access accommodations).  It was hard work and challenging. In some of my time in school it was hard because I was different and subject to what today would be called bullying behavior. I benefited from very supportive parents growing up that reinforced to have a communication plan in the classroom, such as sit in front of the class, pay attention, be engaged and let the teachers know my communication needs.  I had to work harder at school than most kids, often leaving me exhausted.  It paid off; in college I graduated with distinction in my major and received an academic award for top graduate in my major.  The smaller setting for high school, college and law school worked best for me. I really enjoyed my times there, which allowed me to grow and develop into the person I am today.

  • Please tell us about your work experiences.  What is your current job?  What other jobs have you held?  What was your favorite job?

Executive Director- Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I am blessed to work with an outstanding group of individuals with an active and engaging Board in our daily mission of improving the lives of the deaf, deaf blind and hard of hearing.  I am also on the faculty of Bryan College of Health Sciences teaching a law and ethics course. I enjoy teaching with a wonderful team of faculty and administrators as well as with a great group of students who are the future leaders of our health care profession.

Previously, some of my work experiences included being in private law practice and working for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for 10 ½ years.

  • Please tell us about your hobbies and interests.

Fishing and trying to play the game of golf. I enjoy and appreciate watching my kids various sporting activities such as soccer, basketball, cross county meets and volleyball.

  • Please tell us anything else you would like to share about yourself or your family.  For example:  Are other members of your family Deaf or Hard of Hearing?  Are you married, do you have children? 

Married, 18 years to Andrea who is a social worker, hearing. Two children, hearing, who are in middle school.

  • What advice do you have for children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and their families?

Faith, Focus and Follow Through. Have faith and belief in yourself to succeed. Have focus to plan your dream and Follow Through – execute the plan that you have for yourself.  You need to believe in yourself to be successful.  I was told that because I was deaf at age four that I would be lucky to graduate high school and that my educational and employment opportunities were limited.   I was instilled with these principles by my parents and with their help and support was able to be successful due to my abilities, not any perceived disabilities.