A young black woman named Jenelle Rouse has achieved a remarkable feat as she made history as the first deaf person to earn a PhD in Canada.
Jennelle Rouse obtained her Doctorate degree in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her educational journey began when she completed of the Deaf and Hard Hearing Teacher Education Program at York University in Canada.
Jenelle went on to bag a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics in Education from the University of Western Ontario in 2016, before earning her Ph.D. in 2020.
After her bachelor’s degree, She worked as an educator and at the same time furthering her education in Canada for over a decade. She teaches Ontario subject-related and American Sign Language Curriculum classes for various grades.
Jennele is also a deaf dance artist who tells stories through body movements. She performed in a short dance film, Perceptions in 2015 as well as other independent live performances.
She has also been involved with various Ontario art-related sectors as an artist, facilitator, co-researcher, and consultant, including running her own mini project, Multi-Lens.
Jennele stated that having sign language as a base is of utmost importance for every deaf child noting that her research is a transformative focus on accessibility to resources that recognize and promote young deaf children’s sign language acquisition.
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In another story, a brilliant African lady named Amie Fornah Sankoh became the first deaf person to graduate from the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville in the United States of America.
Amie was born in Sierra Leone without any hearing impairment but at the age of 3, she became deaf as a result of a civil war in her country. Read more about Amie HERE.