Being the deaf child of hearing parents and the only deaf person in my early surroundings: these were the foundations for the identity crisis I underwent in my youth. The crisis could have had a tragic end, but fortunately in my case it did not. It took years of searching, however, to finally grow into my identity as a deaf person and to adopt Finnish Sign Language as my mother tongue.
I wrote this book to share my life experiences with members of any linguistic or cultural minority. This is a highly topical issue in society, as such minorities are increasingly in the limelight.
Many automatically assume that minorities have it bad, and that their members deviate - in a negative sense - from the majority population also in other ways. This book offers excellent opportunities for seeing the world through a deaf person´s eyes and for correcting misguided views. At the same time, it provides compelling evidence of the benefits of deafness and sign language for both the deaf and the population at large.