Meet Linda Austin: LFCC Student at the Luray-Page County Center
“I would have to borrow the words of the first Deaf President of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. to describe Linda Austin. She is a Deaf person that can do anything, except hear,” said Cheri Martinez, Professor of American Sign Language (ASL) and Interpreting at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC).
Linda Austin is a 49-year-old student at LFCC’s Luray-Page County Center. She has three grown children and is a resident of Stanley, VA. Linda grew up near Baltimore, MD with a Deaf father and hearing mother. Her father never learned to read or write and communicated through ASL. Her mother was raised by Deaf parents who only signed in Polish and did not speak or write in English. Linda can sign both Polish and American Sign Language. She can read and write in both Polish and English. English is her third language.
Linda is studying to become a teacher. In the future she aspires to teach Deaf and hard of hearing students. She started classes at LFCC in the fall of 2011 and hopes to get an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree in Education by spring of 2016. She obtained a Career Studies Certificate in American Sign Language at the College and passed the Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (Written Assessment and Diagnostic Analysis), which gets her closer to becoming a certified Deaf interpreter in the state of Virginia.
At LFCC, Linda is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a President’s List student. She has maintained all of this by being a determined pupil. “It hasn’t been easy over the last few years,” replied Linda. “I’ve worked part-time, had two knee replacements, my son was deployed to Iraq and my brother, an Army soldier, was tragically killed, but I promised my father, before he passed, that I would get a college degree.”
Although there may be financial hurdles, Linda is hoping to attend Radford University to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with Virginia Licensure in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Impairment PreK-12. She wants to work with students in the field of Deaf education across all grade levels.
Linda is a spectacular individual who wants all to know, “I am living proof that if you want something bad enough, you will not allow tragedy, injury or life to stop—you will find a way.”