Deafula is a personal zine written by Kerri Radley. The zine is a humorous, straight-forward look at one person’s experience being deaf.
Kerri was born with mild hearing loss, but then contracted scarlet fever at the age of 5, which led to progressive hearing loss throughout her childhood. Now in her thirties, she is profoundly deaf. She was raised via the oralist method – wearing hearing aids, lipreading, and using English speech as her primary mode of communication. She knows enough ASL to get by, but inhabits that funny place where she is stuck between the hearing and deaf worlds.
Deafula has been published since 2010 and covers topics like relationships, employment, finances, friendships, family life, etc. It also explores wider topics like disability politics and Deaf identity. There’s a lot of swearing and humor, while still approaching difficult issues with the necessary seriousness and urgency.
Aside from writing Deafula and loving all things zine-related, Kerri is an educator, writer, and editor who adores the written word. She oversees writing support for graduate students at a university, and she is also a freelance editor. She has a Masters degree in literacy and new media from the University of Pennsylvania, and in her spare time she volunteers at her local zine library.
Kerri's writing for Deafula has received positive mentions far and wide, including in Time Out New York and The New York Times. Kerri is also the recipient of the 2013 Art and Change Grant as well as the 2015 Leeway Transformation Award from the prestigious Leeway Foundation.