Leaders come in all shapes and sizes and with very diverse passions, interests, and skills. We would like to share stories of a few leaders who are DeafBlind.
These leaders have used their skills to make a difference for themselves and their community. This may involve advocacy within the community, the local school district, the healthcare system, or other organizations.
DeafBlind Citizens in Action (DBCA) is a national disability rights organization led by deafblind youth leaders. Their vision is to “strive to create a better world where deafblind individuals are empowered through equal opportunities to live fully and productively, including full access to employment, education and technology.” DBCA’s focus on leadership and advocacy has led them to partner and engage with other organizations, companies and federal departments to bring concerns and issues facing the deafblind community to their attention. Amita Srinivasan, the current president of DBCA has uniquely focused on mobility and transportation as a key issue facing our community. As President, Amita has focused on the need for reliable, safe and accessible transportation as key to increasing the well-being and participation of the deafblind community in society and the labor force.
Amita Srinivasan is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, dual majoring in Psychology and Human Dimensions of Organization. She is passionately interested in inclusion, empowerment and accessibility for students with disabilities. Amita is active in the UT Student Government serving as an Academic Policy Director. Currently, Amita is working as a VSFS intern for the Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where she analyzes regional legal systems, specializing in South and Central Asia. She is also on the Disability Advisory Committee at the FCC. Amita has CHARGE Syndrome and is legally deafblind. She has bilateral hearing loss and colobomas that affect her vision.
DBCA recently partnered with Portland State University to host an online international conference called “Mobility Matters” on March 18, 2020. Amita, along with DBCA Vice President Divya Goel and member Kelvin Crobsy, hosted a panel and engaged in dialogue with other professionals about the intersection of smart design and accessibility. The all-day conference featured many experts in wayfinding and mobility research.
Three rotating images below show a group of DeafBlind individuals traveling using the light rail.