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National Deaf Awareness Month: Breaking Down the Barriers in Science

By: Debra L. Bouyer
Thursday, September 30, 2021

National Deaf Awareness Month celebrates the cultural history of the deaf community and brings awareness to the challenges faced in their daily lives. The World Federation of the Deaf celebrated the first International Day of the Deaf in 1958. The event is now a weeklong celebration worldwide and serves as a platform to highlight the accomplishments made by the deaf community and continuously advocate for their rights.

Throughout history, prominent scientists such as Harold Conn (1886-1975)Anthony Hajna (1907-1992), and Nansie Sharpless (1932-1987) have been recognized for their significant contributions to science. Despite those noble accomplishments, there are still many scientists who continue to break down the barriers so others can embark on a career in science. The following scientists are making a global impact through their research:

  • Lorne Farovitch, PhDInfectious Disease Epidemiologist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has a doctorate in translational biomedical science from the University of Rochester. Farovitch’s research of infectious diseases led to his involvement in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials to learn how the vaccine might impact deaf people, thereby helping to make health care data more diverse and inclusive.
  • Jessica Boland, PhD, Senior Lecturer of Functional Materials and Devices at the University of Manchester, has a doctorate in condensed matter and materials physics from Oxford University.  Boland’s research focuses on combining ultrafast optical-pump terahertz-probe spectroscopy with scanning near-field optical microscopy to provide a unique tool for examining the ultrafast carrier dynamics of III-V nanostructures, 2D materials and topolocial insulators with femtosecond temporal resolution, nanometre spatial resolution and surface-sensitivity.
  • Clare Halliday, PhD, a researcher, has a doctorate in molecular cell biology from Oxford Brookes University. Halliday’s research focuses on Leishmania parasites, investigating the assembly and structure of a key part that contributes to its pathogenicity.

FASEB recognizes the importance of advocating for our scientists with visible and invisible disabilities. To become an advocate and promote diversity and accessibility in STEM, you can learn more by visiting the National Association of the DeafWorld Federation of the Deaf, and Gallaudet University.