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B. Riedel (1912- )
-Usher Type 2 or 3
-borrowed classmates’ notes and read a lot of textbooks to graduate from school with honors > entered medical (dental) school (physical exams not required in his day) > practiced dentistry (drilling, filling cavities) 20 years > left practice to make dentures and partials; then learned about Usher at Hadley School for Blind
Robert Smithdas (1925- )
-born near Pittsburg, PA
-normal development until age 4 years when contracted cerebrospinal meningitis, resulted in total blindness and near deafness; totally deaf by mid-teens; received receptive communication through block letter printed on palm and Tadoma method (right thumb on speaker’s lips and fingers on vocal cords), and retained clear speech
-at Perkins learned braille, and by teens avid reader, reading 3 – 4 books in one weekend
-at 12 years started writing poetry; became member of Poetry Society of America; honored as Poet of the Year (1960)
-scored 98 out of 100 on Harvard’s pre-entrance exam > graduated cum laude from St. John’s University (1950; classmates transcribed textbooks into Braille > first known deafblind to receive Master’s degree in U.s., in Vocational Guidance and Rehabilitation of the Handicapped at New York University (1953)
-Director of deafblind services at Industrial Home for the Blind in New York > now Director of Community Education at Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youth and Adults in Sands Point, NY; lectures about deafblinds’ capability if given opportunity, arranges tours at Center, edits national newsletter)
-published “Life at my Fingertips” (autobiography) and “City of the Heart” (poems)
-earned honorary degrees from Gallaudet University, Western Michigan University, John Hopkins University (1980)
-felt modern day deafblind not receive recognition for success in education and employment because “blocked by shadow of Helen Keller”
-deep sea fishing, gardening, art collecting, gourmet cooking
John J. Boyer (1936- )
-earned Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science at University of Wisconsin at Madison
-wrote special software for disabled people at Technical Braille Center
-founder, business owner and Executive Director of Computers to Help People, Inc. in Madison (1981); developed MegaDots translation programs (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, music) into braille (under subcontract with Duxbury) and into speech; provide special computer hardware and software to people with disabilities
-born in Louisiana in strong traditional Cajun family (LA highest population of Usher in world); Usher Type 1, deaf with limited tunnel vision
-founder and operator of restaurant “Rajin Cajun” in Seattle, WA, which has since closed, to become motivational speaker
-watched parents cook > attended community college, discovered culinary program and transferred into it> researched scholarships and internships (latter required for culinary school graduation) > awarded six scholarships > applied for internship to famous chefs and rejected until world renown New Orleans Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme accepted him > job applications repeatedly rejected > decided to start own business, took classes through Small Business Administration, first business counselor pessimistic, second business counselor supportive > founded first deafblind owned restaurant > President Clinton visited “Rajin Cajun” and sampled cooking > President Clinton invited Danny to White House to receive Small Business Employer of the Year award and to share experiences with government and community leaders > received Small Businessman of the Year award from Seattle and Better Business Bureau Torch Award from Washington state > received Gallaudet University's Amos Kendal Award > received Nordstrom's Salute to Cultural Diversity Community Service Award of Washington
-motivational speakers for businesses, schools, associations, internationally: “If I Can, You Can” theme via ASL with voice interpreter; five spices to success = 1) find your passion; 2) be with positive people, not negative people; 3) be your own best friend; 4) have fun; 5) keep your sense of humor
-former vice-president of Washington State DeafBlind Citizens; vice-president of DeafBlind Service center
-featured in PBS and BBC documentary, Rajin Cajun, one of 6-part series of renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks’ “The Mind Traveller”, nominated Best Documentary for the 73rd Academy Awards
-Usher Type 1, now totally deafblind (cochlear implant help with sounds, not speech)
- Clarke School for the Deaf.> Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Pharmacology from Dickinson College and University of Pittsburgh > Master’s degree in Pharmacology-Pharmacognosy from University of Illinois > Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology-Physiology from University of Pacific Stockton
-past positions as teaching assistant, post-doctoral investigator, research toxicologist and research pharmacologist
-Project Director for Ohio DeafBlind Outreach Program, part of Comprehensive Program for Deaf at Columbus Speech and Hearing Center: take census of deafblind people in Ohio, assess needs, link to appropriate services
-past president of American Association of DeafBlind; Director of Ohio DeafBlind Association; advisory Board of Helen Keller National Center; Advisory board of DeafBlind Link (National Clearinghouse on Children who are DeafBlind); standing committee of National Coalition on DeafBlindness; National Interpreter Training Advisory Board (develop manual on deafblind interpreting in Connecticut); Consumer Advisory Council for Ohio Relay Service; Ohio Interest Group for Individuals with DeafBlindness
-Medick winner (1996: outstanding visually-impaired person)
-role model with sense of humor
Deborah G. Groeber
-Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude at Wharton school at University of Pennsylvania > Master in Business Administration from Wharton School > senior financial analyst two years > law degree from Columbia University (used magnifying machine, sound amplifier, Braille puncher, sat close to professors, sign language interpreter) > hired as labor and employment lawyer for Morgan, Lewis & Boddus > appointed by President Clinton to be on Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (1996) > outreach volunteer and board member for Legal Clinic for Disabled (pro bono legal advice for low-income, physically disabled clients) > recognized as ABC World News Tonight Peter Jennings’ Person of The Week (May 19, 1995) > selected as torch runner for Salt Lake 2002 Paralympics
-Usher Type 1
-noticed as amature actress on San Antonio theater production by top Kaleidoscope executive, who introduced her to station’s president > star of her own Award winning television talk show series, Kim’s World, air Saturday mornings on San Antonio-based Kaleidoscope cable network, reaching out to nearly 20 million people in more than 35 states (founded 1990); through interpreters, captioning for deaf and voice narration for blind show physically challenged children that anything is possible: draw on own life experiences (e.g., how to identify clothes by texture, how to travel independently, how to interact with animals at zoo, dancing, horseback riding, etc.); dress up as storybook character to interpret and discuss literature with children
-as volunteer gives inspirational talks to disable children in schools, lectures to teacher for disable children; co-host syndicated TV special, Helen Keller: The Magic Within, along with a team; host Paralympics Games for physically disabled athletes in Atlanta on paid TV
-snow skiing, bungee jumping, scuba diving
-born blind, deaf later
-first blind student at Capital University (Ohio), graduated in teaching Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude > teach music in public school
-with declining hearing in 30s, first to earn Library of Congress’ top certification as proofreader of Braille music
-CompuServe executives realized how often they and subscribers turned to her for help > signed her on as systems operator/independent contractor (using Braille reader) for CompuServe as host for seven of its on-line forums(Political Debate, White House, Religion, Religious Issues, Christian Fellowship, and IBM Special Needs) where subscribers discuss particular topics; income based on time subscribers spend in her forums; regular membership of more than 200,000; called “Wizard” by CompuServe for being consistent, reliable source of information for subscribers; called “Net Queen” by New York Times
Graham 'G-Force' Hicks (England)
-two Guinness World Records for ‘G-Force Challenger’ quad-biking (104 MPH) and jet-skiing (from Wash to London): take full control of vehicle, with Pillion passenger to give navigational directions via touch based system (touch here/there to point in right direction), mutual trust between passenger directions and deafblind skills
-worked for DeafBlind UK, raising public awareness of deafblind potential and raising funds for vital deafblind services
Last, but not least…
Each and every one of us who has a dual sensory disability is a notable deafblind person. All visually-hearing-impaired people are determined and brave soldiers as we contend with the challenges of every minute of each day, striving to achieve our dreams, big and small.
I totally agree with you. Life is NOT a box of chocolates.
Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
If you've never heard of Helen Keller, I invite you to read the account of her remarkable life. I'm sorry for this person's plight, but the fact is that people have terrible things happen to them before and after birth. Many, if not most learn to adapt to one degree or another. A "wrongful life" suit is an outrage to common sense. No one can predict everything. My life hasn't been a bowl of cherries. Whom can I sue?
Originally posted by Amethyst
Try putting glasses on a 2-year-old.