A Deeper Look: The Lightwine Family


Victoria and her mom, Anne. Anne has been teaching Victoria sign language for fun, and she’s even had a chance to use it outside of her home.

By Rachel Shultz, Student Life Editor

When people hear that Victoria Lightwine’s mother, Anne, is deaf, they often make a huge deal out of it. However, for Victoria, a freshman, growing up with a deaf parent was never something she considered a struggle.

    “I don’t really think [my life] is that much different. The only thing is I can’t really call down to my mom if I’m in my room,” Victoria said.

    Anne uses lip reading to understand and communicate with Victoria and her brother.

    “I think for Dustin and Victoria when they were small, they couldn’t just yell at me from the other room, if they wanted something they had to come and find me,” Anne said. “Starting from the time they were very tiny, they knew they had to look at me, and that I had to look at them because I lip read.”

    These skills they developed at a young age have helped them through school.

    “Their teachers have actually told me that my kids are very respectful and that they always look at the teacher while they’re teaching,” Anne said. “I can tell [Victoria’s] different than her peers in how she reads body language, and even in how she perceives people and their actions.”

    Victoria knows her mom has developed skills of her own as well.

    “My mom works just as hard as anybody, like sure she’s had struggles, but that’s because nobody really understands that because she’s deaf, that doesn’t mean she can’t do a lot of stuff,” Victoria said. “She’s one of the smartest people in her field.”

    Anne works as a lab supervisor at North Hospital at Indiana University Health, where she tests blood samples.

    “I found that being in the lab I didn’t have to worry too much about communication,” Anne said.

    Victoria wishes people wouldn’t be afraid to approach people like her mom.

    “People are very distant with deaf people or blind people because they always talk to the person next to them and not directly to them, so it’s like they’re still a person that you can talk to. My mom, she has a very, very big personality. She’s my best friend,” Victoria said.

    Victoria and her mom have a special relationship, and neither would change it.

    “I’ve taught Victoria a little bit of sign language, and we have fun doing that,” Anne said. “She treats me like any other mom out there. We have our quibbles, and we have our disagreements. That doesn’t change.”