"So when people meet me, they think that I must be hearing normal, because they don’t expect a deaf blind woman could be the director of this organization. And when I tell them that I am deaf blind, they ask me how I can work, and they don’t realize that Braille computers help you do that. I tell them that 'Yes, we are deaf blind but we can work'."
Elaine Ducharme was born in 1957 in Connecticut. She was born deaf and became blind later in life. She has two sisters and one brother who is also deaf and blind. She recalls attending the Mystic Oral School for the Deaf where they used lip reading although she prefers sign language for communication. After graduation she attended the Helen Keller National Center on Long Island to learn Braille and other skills. Helen Keller is a role model for her. She talks about how people view deaf and blind people, her difficulties getting a job after graduating from high school, and how technology has improved the lives of deaf and blind people. Eventually she earned a degree in Human Services and moved to Boston where she became Director of the Deaf Blind Contact Center where she helps people with essential living services.