"Mama knew I was 'not right'" Kitty Fischer says of her early childhood in Louisiana. Even though her mother never said it, Kitty knew she meant "deaf and dumb." Her communication difficulties were compounded by the bias her family endured for being Cajun. But Fischer excelled at the Louisiana School for the Deaf, and left her Cajun roots far behind for Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. After graduating and marrying her college sweetheart Lance, a Deaf Jewish man from New York, Kitty settled in, working as a librarian and raising a family. Eventually, though she could no longer ignore her increasing tunnel vision. Doctors quickly confirmed that she had Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that eventually leads to blindness. While Fischer struggled to come to terms with her condition, the high incidence of Usher syndrome among Cajun peoples led her to reexamine and reclaim her cultural heritage. Today Fischer prospers, enjoying her time with family and friends and celebrating the Deaf, Cajun, Blind, and Jewish cultures that shape her life. Her lively story will resonate with anyone who recognizes the arduous journey towards claiming an identity.
About Cathryn Carroll
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Published February 2, 2001
by Gallaudet University Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference.