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The Pearls: Lizzie Sorkin

Born and raised in California, Lizzie Sorkin decided to follow her dad’s footsteps and graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology from the School of Film and Animation in 2007. During her studies in Rochester, she was introduced to so many opportunities that opened the door for her. At one point, she took a break from school and studied abroad with Semester at Sea in the Fall of 2002. She has participated in the Deaflympics as a goalkeeper for the US Deaf Women’s National Soccer team in Australia and won the Gold. She is known for being the first Deaf woman to be a student government president at a predominately hearing University with close to 18,000 students. Lizzie enjoys stamping the pages in her passport, reading, and making quirky videos. Her parents eventually moved closer to the District of Columbia where Lizzie now resides, and enjoys frequent visits to local DC venues! Currently, she is an employee at Gallaudet University in the Academic Technology Video Services department. Lizzie is also pursuing a Master’s in the Administration and Supervision program with the focus in Student Affairs at Gallaudet University, graduating in May 2011.

The Pearls: Melissa Rich

Being an equal communication access advocate, Melissa Rich is married for 17 years to a musician at heart and mother of four children, ages 17, 14, 13 and 8. Melissa graduated Magna Cum Laude from Baker College. Moreover, she worked with a fellow deaf patron and National Association of the Deaf’s lawyer, Michael Stein, and Chicago’s own deaf lawyer, Howard Rosenblum, on Deaf/HH access issues at Lollapalooza, an annual musical festival in Chicago. As a result, Lollapalooza (C3 Presents) now has designated areas with qualified ASL interpreters in the appropriate proximity, along with Deaf volunteers who are able to communicate in ASL.

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