One of Us: Judith Greaves

In ALDA Archives Newsletter, One of Us by ALDA News

by Karen Krull

Judith Greaves is our highlighted member this Spring issue. Many of you who attended ALDAcon 2021 admired her creative backdrop of Niagara Falls for the photo booth. Judith has many talents, as I discovered in this interview. I hope you enjoy reading her answers as well as I did.

KK: Where were you born and/or grew up? 

JG: I grew up in small town west of Ottawa Ontario

KK: Where do you currently live? 

JG: I am in transition this year due to my husband’s death. I shall be spending the summer in the Thousand Islands area then moving to east Ottawa to live with my son. I do hope to keep wintering in the Tampa Bay area. 

KK: At what age and how did you become deafened? (Was it progressive or did it occur quickly?) 

JG: I had some conductive loss in the late ‘80s and tried tubes in ‘92 and ‘94 . Then, after sudden deafness in 1998 was diagnosed with AutoImmune Inner Ear disease. I experienced total deafness three times during the next 19 months and became totally deaf on Aug 28, 2000. I was 45-years-old. My sons were 13 and 18. 

KK: What’s your current marital status?

JG: I have been widowed since December 2021. My husband and I were together 42 years. 

KK: What do you do for a living/job?

JG I was a horse trainer, taught riding, and my clients showed the hunter circuit.  Then we raced horses from 1987 to 2004. I tried to go back to work when I became deaf but it was not safe, because I had balance issues also. 

KK: What book or books do you recommend others read? 

JG: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, which is a deeply moving story of family, friendship and faith and Afghan History. I also recommend Deafened People: Adjustment and Support by Kathryn Woodcock and Miguel Aguayo

KK: You simply cannot live without…

JG: Tomatoes and cheese

KK: Your little-known talent is

JG: I can fix and problem solve mechanical things.

KK: Hardest thing you’ve done is…

JG: Surviving vertigo and deafness

KK: Your funniest hearing loss moment is…

JG: At the US Canada border, I answered all the questions wrong so they pulled me over. lol

KK: When and how did you learn about ALDA? 

JG: I attended a Deaf Woman’s tea. An ALDA member invited me to a meeting.

KK: Do you belong to an ALDA chapter or group? 

JG: ALDA Suncoast, past secretary and member at large. 

KK: Have you ever attended an ALDAcon? (If so, which ALDAcon was your first conference?) 

JG: First conference was one day at Rochester NY. First full conference Norfolk VA 2014 , then Orlando 2017.  I was locked out for Niagara Falls 2021.

KK: In what ways has ALDA enhanced your life? 

JG: ALDA has introduced me to new friends, taught me about accessibility, and has boosted my self-esteem. 

KK: Who or what inspires you the most?  

JG: Rosa Rodriquez from the Deaf Literacy Center in Safety Harbor, Florida.

KK: People would be surprised to learn that you….

JG: Flew to Gothenburg, Sweden in 1979 with the first FEI Show Jumping World Cup team from JFK airport. We had a team of 15 horses, eight riders, vets, grooms, and coaches. We quarantined in Gladstone, New Jersey at the U.S. Equestrian Team training facility. 

KK: Your biggest pet peeve is…

JG: People that don’t try to understand deafness and refuse to modify speech. I call them “IDGIs”,  an acronym for “I don’t get it.”

KK: Your favorite childhood memory is…

JG: Watching horses come down my street. 

KK: Your favorite saying is…

JG: It’s so noisy inside my head I can’t hear outside.

KK: The bottom line is…

JG: I am late-deafened and may not understand fully or express myself clearly at times. Please accept me as I am. There should be no discrimination among the Deaf/deaf/deafened community.