It is hard for hearing people to imagine what it must be like
to be born-deaf. Many of us take speaking, reading and writing
for granted. But actually all three are dependent upon good hearing.
Reading is not based on sight alone - it is based on sounds.
When hearing people learn to read, they "sound-out"
the letters in each word, plus they are learning to read a language
they already know how to speak.
For born-deaf people to function in a hearing world, they must
learn to read and write words - words they have never heard.
Profoundly deaf people cannot "sound-out" words. They
must learn to read from rote-memory, without sounds to help them.
The SignWriting Literacy Project develops specially-designed
materials teaching literacy to the born-deaf.
donates all proceeds from her poetry books to help the born-deaf
to learn to read and write. In fact one of her poems, One Harbor,
has been translated into American Sign Language by Deaf artist