Orchid of the Bayou: A Deaf Woman Faces Blindness

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Gallaudet University Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 253 pages
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"Mama knew I was 'not right'" Kitty Fischer says of her early childhood in Louisiana. Even though her mother never said it, Kitty knew she meant "deaf and dumb." Her communication difficulties were compounded by the bias her family endured for being Cajun. But Fischer excelled at the Louisiana School for the Deaf, and left her Cajun roots far behind for Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. After graduating and marrying her college sweetheart Lance, a Deaf Jewish man from New York, Kitty settled in, working as a librarian and raising a family. Eventually, though she could no longer ignore her increasing tunnel vision. Doctors quickly confirmed that she had Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that eventually leads to blindness. While Fischer struggled to come to terms with her condition, the high incidence of Usher syndrome among Cajun peoples led her to reexamine and reclaim her cultural heritage. Today Fischer prospers, enjoying her time with family and friends and celebrating the Deaf, Cajun, Blind, and Jewish cultures that shape her life. Her lively story will resonate with anyone who recognizes the arduous journey towards claiming an identity.
 

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Contents

Devil Child
1
A School for Kitty
12
I Dont Think Shes Retarded
22
Seasoned Student
30
Home and School Ever the Twain
48
Mama
66
Life After Mama
78
Two Revolutions My School My Soul
88
Gallaudet McDonalds In Thailand
141
The Race to Who We Are
154
Summer of67
165
An End to All That
180
he Reentry of a Coed
192
Kitty and Lance An Item
204
why Me?
217
YesI have Usher Syndrome
228

At Home At School
102
Jeanette and David
114
You Should Be Proud
127
Catherine Acadian and Cajun
234
0n with the Party
245
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