Kevin Frost has always had a passion for sports. Kevin discovered his love of hockey growing up and began refereeing at age 10. Unfortunately, in Grade 6, Kevin was diagnosed with hearing loss — but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion.
Kevin spent many years working as a referee before the early 2000s when he was diagnosed with Type 2 Usher syndrome. Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that first causes a person to lose their hearing in childhood and then their vision later in life.
“I could still referee hockey, but my driver’s license was immediately taken away, and for liability reasons, my employer could no longer have me working there. I thought I had hit a cement wall in my life,” says Kevin.
While Kevin knew that his dreams might have to change a little, he was determined not to let his disability prevent him from pursuing his passions. So, knowing that he would need some support, Kevin reached out to CNIB Deafblind Community Services (DBCS) for help.
“DBCS has been my guiding light and helped me get back on my feet after being diagnosed with Usher syndrome,” he says. “Having an intervenor under my wings has given me more freedom to live independently.”
Having an intervenor offers Kevin consistent, ongoing support for activities like grocery shopping, banking, and medical appointments so he can feel empowered to live his life with confidence and independence.
Before long, Kevin was back on the ice — but not in the way he originally expected.
Mike Rivet, Kevin’s friend and now coach, asked if he would be interested in speed skating — and with some coaching and practice, Kevin reignited his passion for sports. Today, Kevin is a three-time World Champion Canadian speed skater with dreams of winning an Olympic medal for Canada.
“My dream of being a winning Olympic speed skater is not just for me. It doesn’t stop at coming home with a gold medal. It goes on to support others in accomplishing their dreams,” says Kevin. “I want to be a mentor and a role model to future goal achievers.
“To be successful as a person with a disability, we all have to learn to educate, listen, and be positive. The barriers will always be challenging as a Deafblind person, but I believe that positive energy will always win in the end.”
Kevin’s book Deaf, Blind Champion launches in early October 2022. You can learn more by visiting deafblindspeedskater.com.