When author Amanda McDonough started losing her hearing at the age of 4 she swore her parents to secrecy. She hid her hearing loss for 18 years from her friends, family, teachers, and acquaintances. As the author grew older, her hearing gradually decreased, causing her to begin struggling in school, in her relationships with family and friends, and with her identity. By age twenty-two, she could no longer rely on her wit to hide her hearing loss. She became one hundred percent deaf in both ears. Amanda found herself unable to hear, talk, lip-read or sign. Her only method of communication with the world was through writing.
Ready to be Heard is the story of how Amanda taught herself to speak again, to lip-read, and to sign. McDonough explains how she discovered a new culture, language, and most importantly, herself.
In this memoir, the author narrates how she managed to finish college after becoming deaf. How she garnered straight A’s in school, entered the workforce, enjoyed a successful Hollywood acting career (Freeform’s “Switched at Birth,” ABC’s “Speechless,” NBC’s “Bad Judge”, Google, 7UP, Deaf West/ Pasadena Playhouse’s “Our Town,” etc.), fought for her independence, and found her purpose. Ready to be Heard tells about the author’s journey to find a balance between the hearing world she was raised in and the Deaf culture to which she now belonged.