Deaf notables, leaders and their hearing allies of the 21st century make a difference of the people's lives or make great contributions to the Deaf community and society. This is not an exhaustibe list; it's a very few of so many worthy mentioned.
Deanne Bray (1971-present) is an American Deaf actress who played the lead role on Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye. from 2002 to 2005.
Nyle DiMarco (1989-present) is an American actor and model. He is the first deaf contestant on America's Next Top Model (Cycle 22) in 2015 and he was the winner. Again, he was the ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" (season 22) champion with professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd.
Claudia Gordon is the first deaf African American woman to become a lawyer. She was appointed as the Public Engagement Advisor for the Disability Community in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House in 2013.
Matt Hamill (1976-present) is a deaf American mixed martial artist and wrestler who has competed in the Light Heavyweight division of the UFC. He is a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion in wrestling in 1997, 1998 and 1999 during his college years at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York.
Liisa Kauppinen (1939-present), a Deaf Finnish leader, received the 2013 United Nations Human Rights Award Prize from the United Nations in New York, USA. She is internationally recognized for her global contribution in advocating for the human rights of deaf people around the world.
Jolanta Lapiak is the creator/owner of this website (www.handspeak.com and www.lapiak.com), a literary artist in sign language, and a former world record holder in swimming at Deaflympics.
Marlee Matlin (1965-present) is the first American Deaf actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her leading role in the movie "Children of a Lesser God."
Christy Smith (1978-present) is the first Deaf contestant on the CBS reality show series "Survivor: The Amazon" in 2003.
Dr. Laura Ann Petitto (1954-present) is a cognitive neuroscientist, known for her revolutionary discoveries involving sign language as another biological foundation of language in humans.
Nancy Barker, Canadian zoologist.