To forge an identity in a hearing world you become ‘Deaf’ rather than ‘deaf’
There are more and more stories emerging of deaf people who grew up in a hearing world but later found their ‘true’ identity
John Cradden at the Deaf Village Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
If you grew up with a disability, how does it define your identity today? Some might say it simply doesn’t influence their sense of self very much, or at all, while others fully acknowledge it – even embrace it.
Growing up profoundly deaf in a near-100 per cent hearing world, where it was all mainstream schools surrounded by family and friends who were all hearing, my deafness certainly shaped my identity – but it was all centred on pretending I wasn’t deaf, or trying to pass myself off as a hearing person.