As part of my search for answers to where are all the deaf, hard of hearing, sign language people are at, I am interviewing people from all walks of life, literally all over the world.
Here is the text interview with Tracy Stine, a Deaf-Blind blogger I enjoy following.
Her posts are full of terrific insights that allowed me to learn more about what being Deaf-Blind is like.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are, where you are from, where you are living now.
I was born deaf & legally blind a long time ago (Heh). I was born & raised in Ontario, Canada (with a stint in Vancouver B.C.). I have been living in Oklahoma for over 9 years now. We relocated for a job.
I am not a fan of the word “disability” because we all have abilities. And none of us has the same abilities. But I do want people to know and understand better about your “disability” and what abilities you use to show the world you are capable of doing. Can you tell us a little bit more about this?
Technically I’m supposed to be “Hearing Impaired & Vision Challenged” or Deaf & legally blind, but I just call myself Deafblind as it saves time. I’m fluent in English, ASL & sarcasm.
I’m a stay at home mom, currently looking for work. I’m currently working from home as a freelance writer for several sites.
You have a fantastic blog, Confessions of a DeafBlind Mother, that I enjoy reading. It would be awesome if you can share the three biggest benefits your audience gains from your blog and why?
Like I said in my “About me” page,
- I share my stories and share information and resources to educate others, help those “newly diagnosed” and their families.
- To show that people with “disabilities” lives can be weird and interesting as everyone else’s and,
- We don’t need pity or to be patronized.
Blogging is a great way to share information about what you have to offer. With that in mind, what is the number one question you are asked by your audience (friends, inquiring minds, followers, readers)? And have you answered that question?
I sometimes get emails and comments from readers wanting to know how to help their aging parents cope with new vision loss.
That’s inspired me to write an e-book called Navigating Life with Low Vision.
Also, what is the most random question you have been asked? What was your answer?
I get so many questions. I don’t mind the curious ones really wanting to learn, that’s how you overcome ignorance. But some people just need to think their questions through first.
I’ve gotten so many I’ve written a long post on the worse ones and of course, my sarcasm prevails.
Editor’s note: I highly recommend you read this post. It never fails to amaze me the kinds of questions people ask. And Tracy has been asked a few questions I could never dream of thinking up. You have to admire her replies.
Can you tell us how long have you been blogging and what does a typical “blogging” day look like for you?
I’ve been “blogging” for over 20 years. I started with a page on “GeoSpace” or something like that. Then I had a free site on Blogger for several years then moved to my own domain for almost 3 years now.
I don’t blog every day, sometimes an idea hits me and I write it down to save for later. I have Google Keywords set up so I get emails on stories when certain keywords pop up and sometimes I write reactions to stories I’ve read.
Other times I get guest posts from various people to post as well.
Do you find social media helpful in promoting your blog? If so, what are your top two social networks? How much time do you spend a week on those two networks?
I have a Facebook page for my blog as well as a Personal Page. My Facebook is at ConfessionsDB.
I’m also on Twitter, @Rusty_Coyote. I surf these sites pretty much daily and have met a lot of different people who I now call friends.
Looking ahead to the next three years, what do you think will be the greatest change in the deaf and hard of hearing world in terms of awareness or accessibility?
It seems the Deaf world is exploding now, with the World’s eyes on Nyle DiMarco; the outpouring of anger towards AGB’s negative response; the Deaf Grassroot Movements (DGM) happened at every state capital in early May; and more and more lawsuits against hospitals, jails, and other government agencies for lack of interpreters and access – we Deaf, are becoming more outspoken and we’re finally being heard.
We do need to keep pressing on and insisting the media not frame us in a patronizing voice of “overcoming obstacles”. We’re Deaf and Proud.
Sure, we don’t speak for all of the d/Deaf community, but we can show the media and public that we’re not subpar to other people just because we can’t hear (or speak).
What is the number one tip you can recommend that you would share with all of the deaf, hard of hearing and sign language users interested in blogging?
Just do it.
The expression “practice makes perfect” works here. You may think you’re not good at writing, but with time and practice and learning by reading other posts, etc. you’ll learn your style and “voice”.
Everyone has a story and no two are exactly the same.
Just for fun, if you could book a one-way ticket anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Ireland. I wrote about it in a writing challenge. Besides it seems more peaceful than anywhere else right now.
I’m curious, what did you learn from Tracy’s interview?
It never fails to amaze me when someone provides us with inspiration.Blogging is not easy but it does provide us all with an outlet to share information and point of views that we may not otherwise think about. Not only is Tracy showing us the Deaf-Blind people can blog too, she is also providing us with valuable insights into the life of one Deaf-Blind person.
Now it is time for me to ask you what did you learn from this interview because you may have some answers or questions. I look forward to your responses.