WA Deaf Society welcomes first deaf CEO


WA Deaf Society chief executive Rebecca Adams. Picture: Giovanni Torre.
WA Deaf Society chief executive Rebecca Adams. Picture: Giovanni Torre.

EAST Perth-based WA Deaf Society has welcomed its first deaf chief executive.

Former IBM executive Rebecca Adams will lead the century-old organisation through its adaptation to the framework of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Ms Adams said her “first goal is to improve engagement with the deaf and hard of hearing community”.

“We want to make sure they are provided with the service they want from us. We need to make sure that we are engaged better so we will be able to provide the most effective service. We want the community engaged in our organisation at every level,” she said.

Ms Adams said the Deaf Society was working to break down preconceptions about deaf and hard of hearing people.

“There is an historic perception that people who are deaf or hard of hearing can’t do it for themselves; this idea that they aren’t equal. The community has been left behind,” she said.

“We need to educate the broader community so they can see that deaf and hard of hearing people can be just as successful and can achieve as much as the broader community. The information the public has about deaf and hard of hearing people is very limited. We need to give them a clearer understanding.”

Ms Adams, who communicates in Auslan, said she hoped her becoming chief executive sent a message about the capability of deaf and hard of hearing people.

“I want to be a role model for deaf and hard of hearing people. Not everyone wants to be a CEO, but I want to show people can strive to do anything they want to do,” she said.