Deaf receptionist adds diversity to the White House

NBC’s ‘Today’ show recently aired an interview with Leah Katz-Hernandez, the newly appointed White House receptionist. Katz-Hernandez interacts with senators, representatives, and anyone else who meets with the president, and manages the Roosevelt room and the White House guestbook, in addition to working with the Press Secretary. She is also happens to be deaf, and uses an interpreter to communicate. While in my opinion, Today focused excessively on their amazement that Katz-Hernandez is able to work successfully while also being deaf, the overall point they are making is important: through her work, Katz-Hernandez is proving that deaf people are capable of the same accomplishments as others who are not deaf. According to Katz-Hernandez, “It is a great responsibility to be here as a deaf person, and I feel very proud of the opportunities that have been given to me.”

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.

One response to “Deaf receptionist adds diversity to the White House

  1. People with disabilities can do anything a person without a disability can do, sometimes though we just have to do things in different ways.

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