All Eyes

The interesting fact is that deaf people are so keen with their eyes, able to detect the slightest movement several yards away. Because they have little or none of the auditory sense, deaf people treat their eyes as the number one sense for communication, education, security, and even entertainment. Deaf people are extremely visual. They “hear” with their eyes. They read lips. They read sign language. They read facial and body languages. They read TTY’s. They read closed captions. They become alert to blinking lights of special devices. Deaf people are all eyes. That’s how I feel about myself; I don’t know what would happen if I lost my eyes. And, how on earth could Helen Keller get by?” In Bainy Cyrus’s All Eyes, she tells about her life growing up in both the deaf and the hearing world. Bainy first attended Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, MA, where she learned to speak and struggled with language development. It was typical for a deaf child to cope with delayed English language in the 1960s and 1970s. After seven years at Clarke, Bainy began to face difficulties in regular school but eventually overcame obstacles in the hearing world, at times with humor. She also relates the importance of her lifelong friendships with two girls Cheryl and Diane she met at Clarke, and how the different paths that they took influenced her as an adult.

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