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-
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