Library Blog

Today’s Inspiring Deaf Woman

International week of the deaf logo

Being Deaf or having partial hearing loss has not limited or discouraged these amazing women from achieving their dreams.  

Linda Bove 

Linda Bove was born deaf in November 1945 to deaf parents in New Jersey.  She learned ASL as a child and attended St. Joseph School for the Deaf, Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf, and graduated in 1968 from Gallaudet University with a B.A. in Library Science. Linda joined the National Theater for the Deaf (NTD) after graduation to pursue a theater career and performed in Songs from Milkwood and Signorelli on Broadway.  Linda auditioned and was chosen for a role on Sesame Street: “Linda the Librarian” was created specifically for her and was a role she played from 1971-2003.  Linda taught millions of children ASL during her 20 years on Sesame Street and received the Italian American Award (AMITA) for her work. She also made appearances on Search for Tomorrow and Happy Days.  Linda and her husband Ed founded Deaf West Theatre (DWT), a sign language theater in 1991.  DWT is the premiere sign language theatre in the United States earning various honors since its founding.   

To learn more about Linda Bove, please visit Linda Bove and StartASL. 

Sheena McFeely 

Sheena McFeely is an author and motivational speaker.  Born in Hong Kong, Sheena and her family moved to Los Angeles.  She graduated from CSUN with a B.A. degree in Visual Communications and from Gallaudet University with a M.A. in Sign Language Education.  Sheena and her husband Manny created ASL Nook, an online video resource that follows their family as they teach ASL to anyone who wants to learn.  ASL Nook has become extremely popular that some high schools and universities use it as part of their instruction. Sheena is the author of the book, Shay & Ivy: Beyond the Kingdom, which was inspired by her daughters. She established The Pearls, which honors Deaf women and their significant contributions in various fields.  She has also been featured in various media outlets.  

To learn more about Sheena McFeely, please visit ASL NookSheena’s website, and  

Dr. Carol Padden 

Dr. Carol Padden is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. She was born in Washington, D.C. to deaf parents and attended the Kendall School for the Deaf from pre-school to second grade, then attended public school. Carol’s interest in linguistics and language was rooted in her experiences growing up. She attended Georgetown University and later the University of California, San Diego where she earned a PhD in Linguistics in 1983. Carol is currently Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at UC San Diego. Her research centers on language emergence, sign language structure, and cultural life in the Deaf community. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2010.  In addition to be an award-winning scholar, Carol is a published author. 

One of Carol Padden’s books can be checked out from our catalog, Inside Deaf Culture.

To learn more about Dr. Carol Padden, please visit DeafPeople and Carol Padden. 

Dame Evelyn Glennie 

Dame Evelyn Glennie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on July 19, 1965. She is a composer, performer, and motivational speaker. Evelyn studied piano and clarinet before switching to percussion when she began to lose her hearing. She attended the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London and studied with Nicholas Cole, the Principal Percussionist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. While at the RAM, Evelyn won the Gold Medal in the Shell/London Symphony Orchestra Music Scholarship, the James Blade Prize, and the Queen’s Commendation Prize. Evelyn was the subject various documentaries including A Will to WinGood Vibrations, and The Glennie Determination by Radio 4She is the first person to create and sustain a successful career as a solo percussionist, performing all over the world with various orchestrasconductors, and recording artists. Evelyn won two Grammy awards, and has received many honorary doctorates  

To learn more about Dame Evelyn Glennie, visit her websiteThe Digital Journal, and the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame 

Millie Bobby Brown 

Millie Bobby Brown, born February 19, 2004, stars in the Netflix series Stranger Things for which she earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama and a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Eleven.  She has been featured in TIME Magazine’s TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Millie has been featured in various TV series roles, starred in a music video, modeled for Calvin Klein, appeared in commercials for Citigroup, and has movie roles to her credit.  Millie was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2018.  Millie doesn’t let her hearing loss prevent her from pursuing her acting career.   

Stranger Things is available from the Library’s catalog. 

To learn more about Millie Bobby Brown, please visit IMDB. 

Millicent Simmonds 

Millicent Simmonds was born March 1, 2003 in Bountiful, Utah. She became deaf at 12 months old after a medication overdose.  Millicent attended the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf where she fell in love with acting.  She starred in the movies Wonderstruck in 2017, A Quit Place in 2018, and A Quiet Place II in 2020.  Millicent, an ASL advisor, and an ASL interpreter all taught the cast of A Quiet Place American Sign Language (ASL) for the film. The film highlights the struggles of Deaf people and raises awareness of the importance of sign language. 

Wonderstruck and A Quiet Place are both available from the Library’s catalog.  

To learn more about Millicent Simmonds, please visit IMDB and 


Nikki is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She enjoys reading fairytale retellings, historical fiction, and mysteries. Nikki has an obsession with iced tea and the British Royal Family. Her favorite “child” is her Lab, Scout.