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Lydia L. Callis

Did you know the founder of Girl Scouts of America was deaf? Or how about the first woman to swim across the English Channel? Many brave and dedicated deaf women have made invaluable contributions to modern society, despite the odds against them. This powerful minority group has fought against a culture that seeks to silence them-- constantly challenging people's assumptions of who deaf women are, and what they are supposed to be.

History is full of deaf women who changed the world forever, yet the names of these women and their accomplishments often get buried or left out of text books. This is why in 2014 Deaf Women United (DWU) declared March as Deaf Women History Month, to celebrate on the incredible deaf women who make this world a better place.

Read More  . . . Deaf Women History Month





Sep 15, 2014
By Locke Hughes

Faced with what Rebecca Alexander has gone through, most people couldn't be blamed for giving up on exercise. At age 12, Alexander found out she was going blind due to a rare genetic disorder. Then, at 18, she suffered a fall from a second-story window, and her formerly athletic body was confined to a wheelchair for five months. Soon after that, she learned she was losing her hearing as well.

But Alexander hasn’t let these obstacles slow her down: At 35, she’s a psychotherapist with two masters degrees, a spin instructor, and an endurance racer living in New York City. In her new book, Not Fade Away: a Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, Rebecca writes about handling her disability with courage and positivity. Here, she tells us more about how fitness helps her cope with her day-to-day reality and the important lessons that anyone can take away from her experiences.

Read Interview by Shape


Deaf Sheriff’s Deputy Inspires Through Determination, Character

By David Lippman, FOX44, 9/13/2013


Susie Cambre had a lot of people tell her she could not work in law enforcement. But fortunately for her, and southeast Louisiana, she could not hear them.

Cambre, more commonly known as Deputy Susie, is an investigator and director of elderly services for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office. She began her career more than 30 years ago with the New Orleans Police Department, and she also worked for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office.

Cambre, who was born deaf, has won dozens of awards, both national and international, for her work as an advocate for the hearing-impaired, as well as for educational programs aimed toward children.

Cambre made a sudden career change from art therapy to law enforcement in the 1970's.

"I first got into law enforcement because somebody broke into my house," she said. "Because I didn't have any way to call for help."

When she realized that she could not speak with an emergency dispatcher, she decided to change the system from the inside for the betterment of all deaf people.

"So I learned that we didn't have the same rights, we didn't have the ability to call for help," she stated. "I learned that we had to teach those professionals, we have to teach people what we want."

Cambre fought for a few years to become a police officer so she could bring equality to people who cannot hear. Her mailman at the time was one of the first black mailmen, and his struggle inspired her. He also taught her that an onslaught of rejection was the best time to be deaf.

When she finally got the job, she decided that equality meant making the community better for everyone, not just the deaf.

"I never wanted to do just people with handicaps," she recalled. "It had to be everybody. I had to do it on the same terms as the other law enforcement officers."

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