a. Which of you authors is deaf? hearing?

Marla Berkowitz is deaf in a hearing family.

Judy Jonas is hearing in a hearing family with a deaf sibling and several deaf relatives.


b. What inspired you to write the book?

Marla: Since there were no books about being a deaf sibling, someone had to do it. Meeting Judy and sharing our sibling experiences lit the fire to tackle the topic and get this book moving towards fruition.

Judy: As I read Paul Preston’s book Mother Father Deaf, I kept wondering, “What about the siblings?”
Almost nothing was written about deaf and hearing adult siblings so I had to do it.


c. How long did it take you to complete and publish the book?

Twelve years! Completing and transcribing interviews took five years. Then, working together from two different cities, using our videophones and google docs, was another six years. Then, one year and a half to find our publisher and get the book printed.


d. Where are you in the birth order of siblings in your family?

Marla: I’m the eldest of the six siblings. Julie and Joseph are siblings I grew up with. Three others are
step-siblings who came in during our teens.

Judy: I’m the youngest of three. My deaf brother Larry is the oldest, then my hearing sister, Mary Ann in the middle, and then me, the baby.


e. How close are you with your siblings?

Marla: As an adult, we are apathetic towards one another yet do see each other at major family events.

Judy: As an adult I’ve been blessed with close relationships with both of my siblings.