All Eyes

A Memoir of Deafness

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
132 Pages
Reviewed on 07/01/2010
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Author Biography

Bainy Cyrus was born in Norfolk, VA with a severe-to-profound hearing impairment and attended Clarke School for oral education at age five. After seven years there, she came home for good and attended regular school without mainstreaming. With the help of note takers and private tutors, Bainy graduated from Virginia Tech in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture. She worked as a landscape designer for nearly 20 years before deciding to change careers.

In 2004 Bainy achieved a master’s degree in counseling from Old Dominion University. She has worked as a job coach for Hired Hands and Associates since 2006, assisting persons with disabilities in competitive employment. Bainy lives in Norfolk with her hearing husband Steve, sharing their interests in hiking, biking, gardening, and RVing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boiling for Readers' Favorite

Bainy B Cyrus was born unable to hear. She was 18 months old before her parents realized there was a problem. At first, the doctors thought she was the youngest child and maybe she didn’t have to speak because everyone met her needs. Eventually they discovered her mother had contracted Rubella during the first trimester. Rubella can cause a number of birth defects.

Bainy’s first hearing device was large. The technology, in the early 60s, was far from high tech. The device strapped to her like a body harness. Her parents sent her to a special school, Clark School. The school did not use sign language. The students were expected to learn to read lips and to talk.

Her story continues with tales of her misadventures while in New York, life with her friends, and her husband. One of the tales that stood out to me concerned a person at the hospital that could not communicate with the nurses. Bainy thought (correctly) that there should be someone on staff capable of interpreting sign language.

I found this book inspiring. For quite some time I’ve wanted to learn sign language. I believe I will start looking for a class locally. Bainy is a courageous woman. She shared her most precious memories to build a bridge between those in the hearing world and those in the hearing impaired world. Bainy writes with humor. Thank you Bainy.