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D19 was born deaf, along with two of her five siblings. Now married to a deaf man, D19 has daughters of her own. Below, she describes her family life and living with deafness.

“Though my parents seemed to love all of us, they paid more attention to our hearing siblings than us. Because we are deaf they think we are not useful[…]. When I was young I wasn’t that happy, but when I got married I became very happy.”

“I went to deaf school but I couldn’t complete [it…]. I was struggling with the school’s activities, so I decided to stop. So my family put me into hair dressing. I learnt it for two years and opened my own salon.”

“[My family] used to support me when we were kids, but now I don’t get support from them[…]. The hairdryer I use to work got spoilt and I contacted people for help but they refused to help me. And my daughters are in school and I am paying much. So I am struggling to get money to buy one. [But i]f I have a problem I have to solve it myself.”

“I like being a deaf person because I have peace. I don’t hear what people say about me, and when you try to fight me I will not mind you.”

“People don’t isolate themselves from me; I am able to mingle with people, even the hearing people in programs, without discrimination of any form. Maybe the only problem I face is communication since most people don’t know sign language.”

“[M]ore deaf people are able to go to school now than previously. Previously, many parents used to hide their deaf children, but now you see more people taking their deaf children to school.”

“When I go to the hospital, I don’t like writing back and forth because I can’t write good English, and they also don’t have interpreters, so I take one of my children along to solve the problem. Because you need to explain everything to the doctor without hesitation.”

“Deaf people suffer too much. Even for deaf graduates the only work they allow them to do is to teach. Deaf people can also become police, nurses, doctors, but they don’t allow them to do it. They must allow deaf people to also do some of these jobs, because they can do [them].”

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