Claudia Gordon: African American Deaf lawyer

Claudia Gordon is the first deaf African American woman to become a lawyer. She also is the first deaf student to graduate from the American University (AU) Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. in 2000.

Claudia was appointed as the Public Engagement Advisor for the Disability Community in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House in 2013.


An interview with Claudia Gordon.

Born in Jamaica, Claudia became deaf at age 8. As she became deaf during the summer, the school and her parents decided that Claudia couldn't go back to school in the fall.

After two years of no education, Claudia and her mother immigrated to New York. At age 11, she attended Lexington School for the Deaf and learned American Sign Language (ASL) there. It opened up a new world for her.

Her deafness gave her an opportunity to discover her identity, strengths, and personal growth with many positive qualities. The discrimination, that she experienced in Jamaica and in general, inspired her to become a lawyer.

Suggested readings

Baggetto, Maude. "Meet the Women of the Administration: Claudia Gordon." August 30, 2010. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/30/meet-women-administration-claudia-gordon