Meet George Balsley, AIA, a Deaf and Universal Design Expert_his Challenges as a Deaf Architect

April 2, 2012

George Balsley AIA is a Deaf and Universal Design expert who adds his unique personal experience and professional skill as a deaf architect to every project he works on. Active in the field of architecture for over 35 years, George’ s diversified background includes residential, educational and commercial architecture. George acts as a consultant to other architects, guiding them with Deaf Design principles for school for the deaf projects along the East Coast. He recently received an Honor Award from AIA Maryland for his work on the Sorenson Language & Communications Center at Gallaudet University. He is employed with Steffian Bradley Architects in Enfield, CT.

He says: “In the 60s and early 70s, there were no federal regulations mandating access for handicapped people. In high school and college, I had no interpreter, and no special help. It was a “dog eat dog world.” My only salvation was the kindness of my teachers-and not all of them were kind. Many teachers taught without ever acknowledging my handicap. For extra help, I went up to teachers after class and asked questions, since I functioned well one-on-one. My classmates helped me cue in to what was being discussed in classes. and many took notes for me.”[Click to read on George Balsley]



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