Bainy B Cyrus was born unable to hear. She was 18 months old before her parents realized there was a problem. At first, the doctors thought she was the youngest child and maybe she didn’t have to speak because everyone met her needs. Eventually they discovered her mother had contracted Rubella during the first trimester. Rubella can cause a number of birth defects.
Bainy’s first hearing device was large. The technology, in the early 60s, was far from high tech. The device strapped to her like a body harness. Her parents sent her to a special school, Clark School. The school did not use sign language. The students were expected to learn to read lips and to talk.
Her story continues with tales of her misadventures while in New York, life with her friends, and her husband. One of the tales that stood out to me concerned a person at the hospital that could not communicate with the nurses. Bainy thought (correctly) that there should be someone on staff capable of interpreting sign language.
I found this book inspiring. For quite some time I’ve wanted to learn sign language. I believe I will start looking for a class locally. Bainy is a courageous woman. She shared her most precious memories to build a bridge between those in the hearing world and those in the hearing impaired world. Bainy writes with humor. Thank you Bainy.