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Over a year ago, an opportunity came from Wayland, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group, to write an educational book for 6–8-year-old kids about being Deaf.
We jumped at the opportunity because there aren’t any children’s books on the market which both cover deafness in a positive light, and which we would be proud to have on our book shelf at home.
After many months of long nights working on the book researching topics; interviewing our daughter Ava; coming up with ideas for the different pages; seeking feedback and help from all our brilliant friends and family listed at the back of the book; working with Wayland Books to ensure all the pages were written in a fun and educational child-friendly tone; and art directing the beautiful illustrations to ensure all the images and signs at the back of the book were as accurate as possible – Proud to be Deaf was finally launched!
The book is about our daughter Ava, who is like any other 7-year-old. She likes to talk and laugh with her friends, is obsessed with dogs and loves being active. Ava also happens to be deaf – and she’s proud of it.
She loves her Deaf community, that she’s bilingual, and that she experiences the world differently from hearing people.
In this book, Ava welcomes her hearing peers to her daily life, the way technology helps her navigate the world and explains common misconceptions about deaf people – and introduces some of her deaf heroes who have achieved amazing things.
We are excited about the role the book can play in supporting and educating people about what it can be like being deaf. Hard work is being done to try and ensure that new parents of deaf babies meet a deaf role model early on, but this is rarely possible.
We hope the book makes its’ way into the hands of these parents and quickly plays a part in reassuring them, along with their extended families, that their deaf baby can go on to achieve dreams, just as they do; and to see their child’s deafness in a more positive light.
The book can also be the deaf friend that guides a deaf child who may be feeling alone in a mainstream school, wondering about their future.
After reading the book, we hope deaf children will come away feeling inspired, special and proud. Hearing children who have a deaf family member can also learn more about the rich community and culture that they’re immersed in and be proud of it.
It also excites us that the book’s young hearing readers who have never met a deaf person before, who will later sit in boardrooms, work in Government, run businesses and so on, will come away with some valuable deaf awareness, and know that deaf people, like them, can achieve anything.
They might be able to make positive decisions on behalf of deaf people in the future. The world is a better place when its’ inhabitants know that diversity is beautiful.
We hope you’ll like the book. And we’d love it if you could leave the book a review on its’ Amazon page; doing this may help encourage more parents, teachers and schools to buy the book. We don’t receive any commission from book sales; we’re just passionate about getting it into the hands of as many children as possible for the benefit of all children!
Proud to be Deaf: Discover my community and my language
For ages 6+
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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