Kay Edgeworth

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

I am an observant womxn who is a contented homebody. I have been retired from the insurance sector for twenty years. Hearing impaired since birth, I am proud of my ability to adapt and adjust in the predominantly hearing world, overcoming obstacles and achieving goals.



What do you find easy as a womxn?

We have far more clothing options than mxn! … and we outclass them at selecting gifts. :) Womxn can do anything they set their mind to, although nothing worth having comes easy in life.


What do you find difficult as a womxn? The persistent gender discrimination where actions to accept our worth or improve gender equity are either slow or at an impasse. Womxn aren't taken seriously and we don't get the same respect as males. Furthermore, we have to constantly prove ourselves time and time again.


I found it challenging being a deaf mother, but I have a sense of accomplishment in raising my 3 successful son and daughters to adulthood with strong work ethics and human values.



How do you maintain /emotional mental health?

Being with my hard-of-hearing (hoh) husband and having deep frank discussions or general chats daily. We’re frequently in sync. When we go out together, we always walk hand-in-hand - a loving habit carried over from our dating days.


Time with family and Deaf/hoh friends is the key in protecting my mental health too. I have days when I feel overwhelmed, and have to be reminded to pace myself and consistently take a breather. I have also had to learn to accept and manage life’s disruptions.

What brings you joy?

Would you believe? Typing! My love affair with typewriters and computer keyboards stems from my early teenage years. I just love the rhythms of data entry! :)

My other delights are exploring through op shops, welcoming amusing happenings either directly or on social media, entertaining conversations with family and friends, and pursuing my pastimes.

During evenings, as I unwind, my husband and I watch TV programs - mostly with humour, but we also enjoy whodunit-suspense-thriller shows, provided they have closed captioning (subtitles) on all broadcasts, otherwise there’s no joy without it!


How do you nurture your relationship with nature?

I had to laugh at this question as I have a snake phobia! You won’t see me anywhere near the bush! You won’t see me for dust, running for the hills.


I love walking on the beach (not a common occurrence I’m afraid), or strolling beside the beach and waterways, and feeling the sea breeze. Such calming settings recharge my emotional batteries.


Where do you feel a sense of belonging/community?

Smartphones and devices are a lifeline for the Deaf/hoh people who communicate regularly, and is important to health and happiness. It lifts my spirits which tide me over until the next link-up either in person or by texts. Also, time-permitting, I am a volunteer text corrector for Trove archives; I edit the electronically translated texts online in Trove’s digitised newspapers… means more typing! :)What’s important to you? That I will be taken well care of in my dotage, and that my children, only grandchild and their families will continue to stick together through thick and thin, and stay strong, well-adjusted and ethical human beings.


What motivates you in your daily life?

On waking-up, I’m mentally rubbing my hands together in glee as the desire is still deep to carry on typing, such as correspondence, life journals/reminiscences (family and myself), articles, family tree history, online text corrector volunteer, browsing through Pinterest for ideas, and offloading items for sale online, along with crocheting and decluttering (slowly yet cathartic) around the home. I go around in a never-ending loop. No time to be bored. Who was / is an influential woman in your life and why? My mother, and Simmie, a nickname of my childhood’s next-door neighbour. Mum was hugely devoted and generous! Always a busy womxn, a hands-on craftswomxn, extremely resourceful. She was ingenious enough to overcome the most difficult ways imaginable, extraordinarily clever, innovative and creative. Mum’s numerous talents plus her persistence and patience have always instilled me with awe.

Simmie was an adored mature-aged presence throughout my childhood. Both of us were breast cancer survivors at different times, and I’ve always remembered her positive attitude. If she could do it, then I did the same by following her example. What’s the best piece of advice from a woman you have received? An inspirational excerpt: “Olivia Newton-John said to a Buddhist on one occasion, ‘I have breast cancer’ to which Olivia was taken aback when he replied, ‘Congratulations, now you will grow.’" A few years later, Olivia came to understand those words, as do I now.

When you’re down, how do you get back up? When I had breast cancer sixteen years ago, I had the wonderful and loving support of my husband and children to keep me motivated. Their general banter and jokes boosted my morale and positivity as well as their love and assistance which certainly was significant to my survival.


Where do you live/work?

I live on the Brisbane South-side (the best side), Turrbal Jagera country.

 

Connection

In an ableist society we can take communication for granted and forget that technology allows more choices. Typing, texting, reading print and braille or listening to text converted to voice are some examples of technology assisted communication that makes the world more inclusive.


As Vint Cerf, father of the internet says, "Because I'm hearing-impaired, emails are a tremendously valuable tool because of the precision that you get, I can read what's typed as opposed to straining to hear what's being said."



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