title: Deafula (no. 5): Interview with My Mother
date: Spring 2013
In her introduction, Kerri points out that she was diagnosed and raised during a time when current approach and resources to hearing loss were mostly nonexistent. What follows in the pages is a transcribed conversation with her mother in what seems like part interview and part reminiscent chat about her mother’s experience with raising a deaf child.
I fear it would be remiss of me not to say that this is the first issue of Deafula I have read. As I’m entirely unfamiliar with the Deaf community and deaf resources, whether past or present, my only point of comparison in understanding the then-and-now differences is what is hinted at in Kerri’s introduction. Whether or how much the previous issues serve as existing background in terms of understanding current deaf resources through Kerri’s perspective, I do not know. This issue was read independently.
Despite the somber introduction, the interview itself is rather more like sitting in on an exchange between two people at the kitchen table. It’s broad and light, touching briefly on topics like Kerri’s initial diagnosis to relating to a coworker with a deaf son, to the current state of Kerri’s deafness (whose hearing loss was gradual). Her mother’s answers are relaxed and comfortable. Maybe it’s because it’s her daughter doing the interview, or because those initial worries and difficulties about Kerri’s hearing are now only an afterthought that she can look back on comfortably. —Or maybe she just has that kind of easygoing attitude. The answers are anecdotal and interesting, giving insight to her worries as the parent of a deaf child attending mainstream schooling while also revealing memories of a younger Kerri.
It reads like an unintended nostalgia zine, something I appreciate. Especially when you know that it doesn’t matter how the questions of the interviewer try to direct the interviewee, it’s what the interviewee chooses to say out loud, the memories and the interpretation, that direct the result.
munching: cranberry scone