Annabelle Xerri is the Vice President of Deaf People Association (Malta), and the Chair of the Maltese Sign Language Council.
She was born and brought up on the island of Gozo, which is part of the Maltese achipelago.
When she was six she lost her hearing due to a viral infection. Growing up deaf made her aware of the lack of rights and equality, as well as the discrimination suffered by people with disabilities. This made her passionate about equal opportunities, gender equality and human rights.
The lack of awareness around deafness, led Annabelle to speak out and spread awareness on her Facebook page, A Silent World. She uses this platform to raise awareness, offer support and to give deaf people someone to relate to.
A Silent World led to other opportunities to give talks and to reach larger audiences. It enabled Annabelle to meet other deaf people, which in turn spurred her on to learn sign language.
Signing and a deaf community enabled Annabelle to join the Deaf People Association, Malta, of which she is now Vice President.
Annabelle was awarded the Queen's Young Leaders Award in 2016 and in November of the same year became Chair of the Maltese Sign Language Council.