There are so many things to love about Finland, if you are hearing. Bad news for Deaf people in Finland though – people who ALREADY were treated like they were just scraped from the underneath of somebody’s shoe after they walked through a cow paddock… the new government of Finland have slashed the funding to the Finnish Deaf Society. This is one organisation who truly put Deaf people’s needs at the top of their priority. Their reward:
Half of funding cut from the new government;
Half of the people working there to lose their jobs.
Over the past seven months, I have lived the life of a recluse because KELA (Finland’s social security institution) have denied me the use of a translator. I am profoundly Deaf and partially blind. I was written off by the Finnish government the very moment that I lost my hearing. I have not been able to catch a bus, ride a taxi, attend medical appointments, attend appointments with police, talk to police if I am stopped for breath test, talk to ambulance staff or hospital staff simply because the state of Finland refuse to issue me with a Speech-To-Text translator.
I have been fighting for my rights as a Deaf person in Finland for so long it is ridiculous. The laws of Finland specifically state that Deaf, Blind, disabled peoples are not to be discriminated against in any way and are to be assisted so that they can live fairly independent lives. Every step of the way, that law has been abused and tucked away in the corner, completely ignored.
Now that the Finnish Association of the Deaf has had their funding cut, I will only guess that the Deaf Social Services and the Deaf Blind Association of Finland will soon follow.
Because of my inability to be treated fairly, I have worked my butt off so that I could find a new occupation where I can continue to contribute to the economy of the country I now live. I ended up focussing on the one thing I am good at – writing. Not only do I keep my blog going, but I also started writing books again.
Two weeks ago, I was signed by a major publisher in Europe (situated in London) and they are already hard at work, getting my initial manuscript up and running so that it will be publicised and distributed worldwide. That book is the true story of how I lost my hearing and eyesight (and the life of my son) via domestic violence.
My next three books are then waiting in line to receive the buff and polish treatment from my publisher, while I work on books number four and five.
The publisher has asked for £2500 security as I am a first time author who has never been published before. I asked the Finnish government, since 50% of the royalty cheques from my published works go to Finland’s taxation office. Once again, the word DEAF led them to say no. Apparently it is not possible for Deafies to actually have thoughts, hold jobs, do constructive things in Finland. It is quite frustrating.
While I have not officially published the third book on Amazon, feel free to take a look at my first and second books. If you are interested, purchase it on your Kindle so you can read for yourself how domestic violence has led me to the hell I am living now, even though I am on the other side of the world.
Solitary Confinement in a prison cell would be more fun than what I have experienced over the past eight months. At least you can talk to the guards or the mice that crawl into your cell. Having all forms of communication taken away from you is a punishment I would only inflict on the harshest of criminals.
I pray for Finland with every bit of strength that I have right now. If removing funds to the disabled, Deaf and blind are the first things on their agenda, then I have nothing good left to say.