CART providers are bound by rules of confidentiality not to disclose the names or details of people they've captioned for, but in this case my client graciously allowed me to use her name and link to her information. A few years ago, I captioned several classes (including Latin, one of my all-time favorite subjects) for Navena Chaitoo, an undergraduate at Fordham University up in the Bronx. Now she's graduating, and yesterday she informed me that she won a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to further her education in public policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University! From the article she sent me:
“I was diagnosed with a severe-to-profound hearing loss when I was about 5 years old, and at the time, my audiologists relied on the latest medical studies to determine that I would probably never graduate high school,” said the Brooklyn native. “Ultimately, my parents knew better and saw to it that I had all the accommodations necessary to offset my hearing loss, which allowed me to be as successful as I am today.”
Chaitoo will continue research she began at Fordham on the economic wellbeing of persons with disabilities in the United States, particularly the indirect as well as direct medical costs of persons with disabilities—a topic in which she has been personally invested.
Navena is only one of countless examples demonstrating how important accommodations can be, and how much can be achieved if they're put in place. The communication access came from CART providers like me and the other captioners who've worked with her, but the brilliance, insight, and dedication all came from her. This woman is amazing, and I'm honored to have played a part in her success. I know she'll just keep going up and up from here, and I'll definitely be watching to see the great things she does in the future.
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