Hi. My name is Karen Lloyd. My sign name is KL (two-handed finger spelling).
I’m deaf and I live bilingually and biculturally: I use both English (speech, lipreading and writing) and Auslan (Australian Sign Language); I have hearing family and friends and deaf friends; and I belong to both the hearing community and the deaf community.
I love my life and being deaf is just a part of who I am. It is not the whole me, but it is a big part of me because it has an impact on so many things I do.
I worked as a librarian for many years, at the same time doing a lot of volunteering on deaf community committees and advocating for deaf people’s human rights.
Then I moved into community information and eventually became a paid advocate, as Executive Officer of Deaf Australia. I loved it. I met and worked with really amazing people and believe I achieved many improvements for deaf people’s human rights, access to services and information. It was more a lifestyle than a job and after 13 years it was time for a change.
Now I’m living a different lifestyle doing other things I love: writing; reading (I read pretty much anything except sci fi, horror and fantasy); crafts; travel; learning to be an urban backyard farmer, a better cook, and live a more sustainable, less consumerist lifestyle; taking time to smell the roses and enjoy the company of wonderful friends; and of course nurturing my family and our gorgeous cat, Nutmeg.
Why this blog?
Because I love writing. And because I care deeply about the deaf part of me, my deaf friends, and social justice.
The deaf experience can be marvellous and it can be terrible. So much about deaf people is unknown, misunderstood, misrepresented and unexplored.
Many hearing people who have a deaf person somewhere in their life would benefit so much from learning more about us. And deaf people ourselves need to have more conversations about our lives.
My involvement with the deaf community has always been heavily focussed on advocating for deaf people’s rights. My motivation has always been that if I worked to make all deaf people’s lives better, then my life would be better too.
The struggle for human rights and social justice is still dear to my heart, but with this blog I hope to focus on other perspectives as well, not just the political. Although, if you ask me, pretty much everything in life has a political aspect to it!
Much of what I write here will be based on my own experiences and things I have learned along the way. As the blog develops I hope to include a wide range of topics, perspectives and stories from other people’s lives, including those of the many hearing people who live alongside us and share our deaf culture and sign language.
I hope that the blog will generate constructive conversations that encourage all of us to think about our lives and the issues that affect us, consider various perspectives, learn from each other and together come up with perhaps new and better ways of living well.