Library Blog

Trailblazers in the Deaf Community: Famous Authors

International week of the deaf logo

250 million people around the world have a hearing impairment and two-thirds of those people live in developing countries. Half of deafness and hearing impairments can be avoidable. If a person is deaf, this is the complete loss of hearing in one or both ears; hearing impairment is the complete or partial loss of one or both ears, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO mentions that with the increase in population all over the world, hearing impairment and deafness is on the rise. Another factor that hearing difficulties are on the rise is the increasing life expectancy of humans.  

Three famous and incredibly talented deaf authors Connie Briscoe, Henry Kisor, and Kathleen Brockway are trailblazers in the deaf community. Each author writes about different subjects according to their strengths. Check out a short biography about these incredible authors. 

Connie Briscoe (December 31, 1952– ) 

Connie Briscoe was born with a hearing impairment that left her deaf by the age of thirty. She was born in Washington, D.C. on December 31, 1952. Connie is an accomplished American writer of historical fiction and romance. Her first novel was in 1994 by the title of Sisters and Lovers. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and her master’s in Public Administration. For a time, she worked at Gallaudet University, where she learned American Sign Language and learned about deaf culture. She says that, “I never let my hearing loss hold me back from doing the things I wanted to do. I just adapted and plowed on.” Some of the famous work she had written include A Long Way from HomeBig Girls Don’t Cry, and Money Can’t Buy Love. 

Check out Connie Briscoe’s books through our website:

Also check out this audiobook on Hoopla:

Henry Kisor (August 17, 1940– ) 

Henry Kisor was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey and at the age of three became deaf after a meningitis illness. This famous author received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College and in 1964 graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He started his newspaper career in 1964 with the Evening Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. He was a book review editor and a literary critic for until 1978. During that time, he worked for the Chicago Sun Times 

Henry wrote a weekly news column about personal computers that was published in the Chicago Sun Times and the Los Angeles Herald ExaminerHe was also published in the Orlando Sentinel, Seattle Times, LA Times and He was a finalist for the Pulitzer in 1981.  

Some of the awards he has won over the years includes the Chicago Foundation for Literature Award for Nonfiction in 1991. He was also inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 2001. 

Check out Henry Kisor’s book through our website:


Kathleen Brockway  

Kathleen Brockway was born in Washington D.C. and was diagnosed with deafness after a bout of Rubella. Her adoptive parents learned sign language at Gallaudet University and taught her. She graduated from Model Secondary School for the Deaf and received a degree in business management at the University of Phoenix. She then went on to write and be an activist amongst the deaf community. 

She was inducted into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. She wrote two books that were published in 2016 about deaf culture in Detroit and Baltimore. 

Kathleen currently works with the Deaf Cultural Digital Library online to preserve the Deaf school’s history. She wants to collect as many American Sign Language resources to get a search engine started to connect parents with resources. 


Check out Kathleen Brockway’s books through our website:

Also check out these eBooks on Hoopla:


Hello! My name is Ms. Tracy and I am a librarian assistant in the Austintown and Michael Kusalaba Library. I am a new librarian assistant and I enjoy reading nonfiction books about travel and animals. My favorite part about being a librarian is helping all of the wonderful people that I get to meet.