Narrative text: "I have a story – my name is Haley Martin. I am deaf and Aboriginal. I grew up in the Sydney suburb of La Perouse and my mob is ‘Gamilaraay’. I grew up with Aboriginal people and in Aboriginal Community. I went to Aboriginal festival, play sport with Aboriginal people and watch Aboriginal people play football at Maroubra. But when I met other deaf people, I felt a little bit awkward because I was not farmilar with the Deaf Community.
I felt this way about deaf people until a few years ago when I met a few deaf Aboriginal people. One woman in particular, Joanna, inspired me and helped me to feel comfortable with myself and understand more about being deaf and Aboriginal. She shared her story and explained the barriers she faced being deaf and Aboriginal. She told me to take action and advocate service providers for our rights as deaf Aboriginal people.
I would like deaf and hard of hearing Aboriginal people to be confident, have support to achieve their goals and be able to access services without separating their disability from their Aboriginal identity. At the moment, I am working at the Deaf Society as Aboriginal Officer. It is my role to understand the support needs of deaf Aboriginal people and make recommendations to the Deaf Society.
The Deaf Society’s vision is equity for deaf people. They want all deaf people to have supports and access to match their needs. By better understanding the needs of deaf and hard of hearing Aboriginal people, they will be able to provide supports and services to assist you to live your life, your way.
So how can you help? Share your story with me and we can make a difference. I’m looking forward to meeting deaf and hard of hearing Aboriginal/ Torres Strait Islander peoples from all over NSW. You can contact me on email firstname.lastname@example.org or Skype haleym.dsnsw
Everybody has a unique story, just be you no matter who you are, we all have a story to tell and we can all work together."