Father’s Day is always a special day. It’s a day we show our appreciation for our Dad’s and celebrate. It’s also a day for many Father’s to reflect on their experience of parenthood.

In this special Power of Potential segment, Director of Public Relations at AIM, host of the Sunday Jazz Brunch show and father, Walt Adams and Senior Director and Counsel at AIM and father, Chris Lyons switch seats for an interesting interview on being a father to a person with a diverse ability.

Nicole and Walt at Dinner
Father-Daughter dinner before Nicole left on her epic journey

Walt Adams is a proud father of two. At birth, Doctors discovered his daughter, Nicole, had a unique hearing disorder that would cause her to be deaf. Walt was worried for the challenges she’d face throughout her life in the “hearing” world. “We had great care through the hospital, and also close family support. Everyone in our family all took sign language classes and started communicating with Nicole and teaching her sign language. My son Adam, who was a year old, embraced the sign language so much that he was signing more than he was speaking”, said Walt.

Although in some cases people like to stay within the circle of the deaf community, Walt says, “I just knew with Nicole’s free spirit, that she would never be satisfied, and would be limited as to what she could do. So we embraced an integrated program through education, private classes, private speech therapy classes; so that we encouraged her to engage hearing people and live in the hearing world, where she could get the most out of her quality of life”.

Now 21 year’s old, Nicole is following her dreams by taking on an epic adventure to Indonesia where, through a scholarship grant, she is taking part in program with an environmental research group to study sea life. On this research trip, Nicole has received her Diving Certificate and Deep Dive Certificate; and a bonus, she discovered a sea turtle that has not been seen in that area before!

Research Dive Indonesia Turtle
Nicole on a marine life research dive off the island of Gili Air near Bali, Indonesia
Nicole Home Research Team
Father, Walt welcoming home daughter, Nicole on June 27 from her month long journey