Emma Faye Rudkin ’18 has been legally deaf since she was 4 years old, yet she hears the cries of deaf children, she says and has worked diligently for five years alongside a team of women to be the voice of as many deaf adolescents as possible.
“I didn’t know a lot of concepts and words until I was 11,” Rudkin said. “I had close friends, but for a long time, I felt like no one understood me. I spent the majority of my childhood wanting to be included, thinking that no one understood my world.”
According to Rudkin, who received her bachelor’s degree in communication from UTSA, children who are deaf frequently are not given access to the resources and tools they need to communicate with others. In the United States alone, for example, only 20 states require private health insurance companies to cover the cost of hearing aids.
“I want to open the eyes of the community regarding the issues and the struggles that deaf people encounter,” Rudkin said. Her organization, Aid the Silent, has been opening eyes and breaking through barriers since its inception in 2015.
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