Author: Bainy B. Cyrus
ISBN: 9781450540315
Publisher: CreateSpace

Click Here To Purchase All Eyes: A Memoir of Deafness

An interesting memoir about a woman who was born with a level of deafness resulting from a virus her mother contracted whilst pregnant.  Bainy B. Cyrus is the only hard of hearing member of a hearing family and consequently it took a few years before her deafness was diagnosed.  She had to undergo many tests before the deafness was discovered and the type of deafness was identified.
This book does a lot to educate the reader about deafness, not only from the view of someone who is hard of hearing, but also because the author shows us through her writing some of the basic misconceptions about the condition.  For example, it is sometimes assumed that because someone is deaf they would automatically know sign language, or they are able to lip read, or they can’t talk, or their hearing aids can restore their hearing.  All of these, and other assumptions are untrue.  

Bainy B. Cyrus expresses well in her book that as she was growing up she wanted to be treated like everyone else, and not as someone with a disability.  She also explains how hard it is for a deaf or hard of hearing child to learn to speak or understand language.  She was sent to a school where deaf children were taught to lip read rather than use sign language, in the hope that they will be better able to integrate with the hearing community.  Bainy found that she wanted to integrate more with the hearing community because she came from a hearing family, so after going to the deaf school, she then attended a hearing school and college where she made friends with hearing children, and was able to develop good relationships with them.  In contrast, one of her closest friends from school went on to learn sign language and to spend most of her time with the deaf community.  The book does well to show how each individual who suffers from deafness has many choices to make as to how they will deal with the condition, and it throws light on the prejudices that surround deaf/hard of hearing people in their daily lives.

Bainy highlights the important issue that it takes deaf children longer to learn right from wrong as they are not able to hear people talking about what is good and what is bad.  The author relates her experiences of being taken advantage of because of her slower rate of social development.
The book also explains the difference between being profoundly deaf and being hard of hearing.  Bainy is hard of hearing and states the case that sometimes this is harder for people to understand or deal with.   

This would be a great book for parents of a deaf or hard of hearing child, as it gets into the mind of a person growing up with the condition, and explains how they feel.  It would also be helpful to anyone involved in teaching or working with people who have any type of disability.
With this book, Bainy has shown that deafness, just like any disability, or in fact anything that makes someone a bit different from others, can have a profound effect of that person’s upbringing and life.
The author is someone who struggled through her education and wanting to fit in, but she came out as a successful adult and now uses her experiences, through her work, to help others.

Click Here To Purchase All Eyes: A Memoir of Deafness