My life adventure began in 1933 during the period of the Great Depression. You will learn of the hardships families were facing and what is happening in both the Deaf and the Hearing Worlds at that particular time. As time passes, each section enumerates the progress that has been made in both worlds. Imagine Deaf persons denied the right to drive a car, being denied employment, and unable to obtain life insurance. Imagine a life without television, fax machines, and computers.

The times when I was acting as liaison between my parents and people in the Hearing World, I witnessed my folks experiencing prejudice and bearing sarcasm, ridicule, and blatant abuse. Those skirmishes with the real world made me grow up fast. My dad once told me he hoped that, as an adult, I would advocate for the Deaf community and educate Hearing folks about the Deaf and their signed language. In retrospect, I realize my father’s plea set me on a path to fulfill his dream, and to do so has been my lifelong quest.

At fourteen, I entered the University of Chicago and graduated at eighteen with a Bachelor of Arts degree. There I met my husband-to-be.

We soon married, and I took a break from the Deaf World to enter the Hearing World as wife and mother. When my youngest child began kndergarten, I achieved my childhood dream and became an elementary school teacher, teaching in the suburban Chicago school system for twenty-four years. In every class, I taught about the Deaf, and every student learned a few useful signs.

When I retired from teaching, my husband and I moved to Florida where my parents had retired, and I returned to my first love, the Deaf World.

I became a professional interpreter and the Assistant Director of the Deaf Service Center of Broward County, Florida. In that role, I pursued my mission to champion the Deaf community. I trained the staff of many south Florida cities to accommodate Deaf citizens and to teach staff members basic signing skills. I also taught Fort Lauderdale emergency responders how to effectively handle 9-1-1 calls using teletype devices. My interpreting jobs included stage performances, weddings, and religious services. I am still busy today through this website, inviting people to read my memoir. As you can see, I am still on a mission to honor my dad's request. Once you have read my story, I invite you to join me in my quest to teach Hearing folks about respecting and including the silent minority that lives among us.

Ruth Reppert

Search