My name is Viola (sign name is because of my dimple).
Really I was late learning sign language. I was about 25 and my hearing was going down. I wanted to learn sign language because there were two worlds, one hearing and one Deaf. I didn’t know which one I belonged to. I knew nothing about the Deaf world or sign language at the time.
I thought learning sign language would be a very good way for me to learn. So, I went to Deaf Club, met some Deaf people, that was interesting. It helped me to improve my sign language. Yeah.
So why was I so late learning sign language. I was born in Germany. I went to a mainstream school first. The first teacher was really nice and said I could be in her class. But the second teacher, mmm, she was really bad, she said she couldn’t be bothered - a deaf child, too hard to help.
So, what were we to do? There was a Hard of Hearing school in Germany (I went to) but there was not much sign language there. Just a little bit here and a little bit there. I felt as so I was in between two worlds again, I was in the middle there. I was hard of hearing.
So that’s why when I was here in New Zealand later, at 25 years I was late to learn sign language.