DeafKidz International is delighted to announce the appointment of American disability rights campaigner, Claudia Gordon, as an Ambassador to DeafKidz International. “This is a really exciting moment for us” said Steve Crump, Founder and Chief Executive of the safeguarding and protection charity; “Claudia will be a familiar face to the many that follow our work – a deaf woman who is, quite simply, one of the world’s leading disability rights campaigners”.
As Claudia commented; “DeafKidz International is a charity I much admire and so I am delighted to accept this appointment as global Ambassador, representing the vital protection interests of millions of deaf children and young people worldwide; many of whom are at risk of abuse and exploitation. And for those that are victims and survivors of abuse, those unable to access equitable justice in their language of choice”.
Deaf from the age of 8, Claudia moved to the United States in response to the stigma and discrimination she experienced in her native Jamaica. From these beginnings, Claudia set her heart upon becoming a lawyer, studying political science at Howard University and law at the American University’s Washington College of Law before entering government service.
Whilst at the Department of Homeland Security, Claudia provided leadership and oversight to the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities. In response to the devastations of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she was deployed to work at the Joint Field Office (JFO) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she served as the disability, aging and other special needs populations’ civil rights subject matter expert ensuring their access to recovery and rebuilding provisions.
A recipient of the Paul G. Hearne / AAPD leadership award from the American Association of People with Disabilities, Claudia served as a public engagement advisor at the White House under President Barack Obama.
As a global Ambassador to DeafKidz International, Claudia will support the organisation’s advocacy work at the highest level, representing the needs of deaf children to nation state governments, partner agencies, investors and donors throughout. “One in four deaf girls experiences sexual violence” observed Claudia. “I plan to use my ambassadorship to focus attention on this issue and to especially address the challenge of Gender Based Violence against deaf girls and young women. An area where DeafKidz has already done much valuable work”.
“For both DeafKidz International in the UK and the New York based DeafKidz International USA, this is an opportunity for us to work with Claudia to get our message out to the people that need to know” observed Steve Crump; “that as a deaf led organisation we will not allow deaf children endure the agony of abuse. Claudia’s support is critical here and we look forward to working with her further.
About Claudia Gordon
Claudia Gordon is a dedicated advocate for people with disabilities, who specializes in creating a world that allows them to feel seen, heard, valued, and included. She currently serves as the Director of Government and Compliance with Sprint Accessibility, a business unit within Sprint Corporation that seeks to remove communication barriers for customers with disabilities, including individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or have a speech disability.
A graduate of Howard University and the American University’s Washington College of Law, Claudia is the first deaf Black woman attorney in the United States. Armed with her passion for advocacy, compliance, and civic engagement, she’s held a number of senior leadership positions at agencies such as National Association of the Deaf, Inc., National Council on Disability, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
During the Obama Administration, Claudia served as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Associate Director of Public Engagement for the White House Office of Public Engagement. An expert in compliance and accessibility, she is a sought after speaker and consultant to companies and organizations that wish to create environments that are inclusive and promote equity for all.
For her unrelenting commitment to her work, Claudia has been recognized as a leader by the American Association of People with Disabilities, Google, and The Root 100. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, she finds joy in empowering women and girls with disabilities to own, and stand confidently in their otherness.
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