As a young child, Eric Fleet learned first hand the value of access to sign language, to sign language interpreters and to the word of visual communication. Although he was born Deaf, he did not learn sign language until he was 6 years old. His entire world changed, including his academic performance.
He went on to complete two associates degrees in engineering technology, one in civil engineering and the other in architectural engineering. Eric worked in civil engineering for more than 20 years. After the economic downturn in 2008, he completed a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology, as well as an additional bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. When given the opportunity to pursue a masters degree in a Deaf-centric environment, he jumped at the chance, completing a Certificate of Theological Education at the Deaf Theological Center, a part of Union University. Eric has served the Deaf community on the Governor appointed Tennessee Council for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing, as well as other local boards and service opportunities.
Eric’s heart is for Deaf children to have access to sign language from an early age, including those adopted from other countries. After meeting Becky Lloyd at Empowered to Connect, he learned about the priorities of Signs for Hope and the emphasis on providing Deaf role models for Deaf children, their siblings, and their parents. He has traveled with Becky to Honduras, met her in Vietnam, Canada and, of course, in North Carolina. He has also attended CAFO with Becky in 2017. Eric has volunteered for ASL Immersion Family Retreat for 2 years, and is looking forward to many Family Retreats in years to come.