HOW TO BE DEAF is the name of Rosie Malezer’s latest book, which she penned during her Deafhood journey.
Tell us about yourself?
I am an Australian Indigenous domestic violence survivor. I was born hearing. When a Deaf woman started working in my office (and spent every lunch hour alone), I took up AUSLAN studies at the Queensland Deaf Society.
It was the best thing I ever could have done because she and I became best of friends. I studied sign language for the next 10 years, until my domestic violence situation forced me disappear. It was not until severe head trauma and illness in 2007 that I became Hard of Hearing, eventually being diagnosed as profoundly Deaf in 2014.
People take many things for granted. Hearing people believe hearing people are “normal.” Once I was diagnosed as profoundly Deaf, the reactions from people when they met me changed significantly.
Audiologists said Cochlear Implant was my only option, and that not hearing would make me insane. When I chose to learn ASL with my husband instead, Finland’s doctors and government workers lost their fake smiles, accusing me of “wasting your talents by settling for being Deaf.” I didn’t settle. I made a choice. The longer this continued, the more frustrated I became. Then I started to write.
Have you written books/blogs before?
I quickly found that regardless of university qualifications in legal and veterinary medicine, I was suddenly deemed unemployable because I was Deaf. I had also just finished five years of full time study to learn Finnish.
I was rejected for a seamstress course because I was Deaf. Do they work the pedals with their ears? Having been Copy-Editor of a government magazine 20 years ago, I decided to start writing again and prove the government wrong. This year, I’ve focused solely on my books and blogs, which are directed at Deaf rights, animal rights and life lessons.
After being treated so badly in such a very short time, I became a very angry person. I did not want to be angry. This book is written to my younger self, telling me to be calm, explaining Surdophobia and Audism, and that being Deaf can be a wonderful thing.
My marriage is actually so much stronger since I lost my hearing, as we both learned to sign together and now have our “own special language.” While ASL is forbidden in Finland, we continue to use it at Deaf Club and when grocery shopping. I mean… who are we hurting?
How to be Deaf is available both in Kindle and Paperback format from http://www.amazon.com/How-be-
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about the Deaf fashion bloggers taking on the world!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people