Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Miss and Mister Deaf International 2012 - Lauren's journey

22 May 2012In February of this year, I did a story on Miss Deaf Australia, where I interviewed a friend of mine, Lauren, I captured her experience of the pageant and followed her on her journey as she was crowned Miss Deaf Australia – Runner up.

Lauren has recently joined NOVA Employment, to gain some assistance in her search for a job. Until then, she has some exciting ventures to look forward to, including pursuing her goals in Deaf pageants, where she hopes to bring a sense of inclusion in both the deaf and hearing worlds.

I interviewed Lauren this morning, to keep you all up to date with her adventures, here's what we talked about….

Jo Blogs - Hi Lauren, how are you today?

Lauren – Feeling good.

Jo Blogs - How old are you?

Lauren – I'll be turning 21 in July.

Jo Blogs - What school did you go to?

Lauren – Emmaus Catholic College.

Jo Blogs - What's your disability?

Lauren – I prefer the term ‘special needs' rather than disability, but I have a hearing impairment.

Jo Blogs - What are you here to talk about today?

Lauren – I'm here to discuss my upcoming participation in Miss and Mister Deaf International, which will be held in Turkey, this July.

Jo Blogs - How did you begin your journey with Miss Deaf Australia?

Lauren – While learning Auslan last year, I heard about Miss Deaf Australia through the deaf community. After a lot of research, I then decided to apply. Together with two other finalist contestants, I competed and was crowned Miss Deaf Australia Runner-up, 2012.

Jo Blogs - What do you hope your trip to Turkey will bring for you?

Lauren – New opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime. The CEO of NOVA Employment, Martin Wren, has kindly offered to sponsor me during my time in Turkey. This sponsorship will allow me to fly to Turkey, accompanied by my interpreter, who can interpret many spoken and sign languages. I will be representing NOVA Employment; I will even be armed with clothes that have the NOVA Employment logo on them! I'm so grateful to have Martin, and Nova's support, but I am still looking for any extra help that I can get, so any further contributions are welcome.

Jo Blogs - What advice can you give to anyone else who is considering entering a Deaf pageant?

Lauren – Make sure you can sign Auslan effectively. Be passionate about the deaf community and its culture, and most importantly, be yourself.
Lauren will be competing in the Miss and Mister Deaf International pageant in July, and you can keep up to date with her journey by ‘liking' her page on Facebook - –

While on Lauren's FB page, you can also obtain further details on how to sponsor her, during her trip to Turkey. You can make a monetary donation, or you can purchase raffle tickets. Tickets to enter the raffle are $2 each, or three for $5. Winners will be announced upon Lauren's return back to Australia in August. What's up for grabs? There are Taronga Zoo entry passes, Featherdale Wildlife entry passes, photography packages, beauty packs, personal training session, plus heaps more!

Miss and Mister Deaf International officially began in 2010, and its first pageant was held in Las Vegas. The pageant, which is very official, is different to other pageants, like Miss World for example, but shares some of the same aspects, as in the competition runs over many days, and will see contestants showing off their talents, walking the catwalk in their swimsuit and showing off their beautiful evening gowns.

The winner is not only chosen for their unique talents, intellect, and beauty, but their overall personal and humanitarian goals. Once the winner is chosen, they are expected to act as a role model for other men and women in the deaf community, and will spend their reign representing deaf men and women around the world, by travelling, meeting with leaders, and undertaking official duties.

Get behind this beautiful and sweet Aussie girl, and help her to make the most of this wonderful opportunity that she's been given! Good luck Lauren, I'll be cheering you on!

If you'd like to read my story on Lauren during her participation of Miss Deaf Australia, and watch the footage, click here: http or, if you'd like to see me interview Lauren on Jo Blogs LIVE from a couple of months back, click here:

Lauren at Miss Deaf Australia, with winner, Samantha Fullerton

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