OK Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation Helps Tulsa Resident Who Is Deaf Pursue a Career in Modeling

Article excerpt

Nancy Rodriguez, a 22-year-old Tulsa resident who also is deaf, has not let her communication barriers curb her success.

She has found success as a model for a Puerto Rican clothing designer as well as talent for AT&T.

Rodriguez, originally from California, relocated with her family to Tulsa during high school and graduated from Tulsa Edison High School in 1999. She excelled in the classroom as well as on the softball diamond throughout high school.

Being deaf was only one of the communication barriers faced by Rodriguez, as she was also part of a family that spoke only Spanish at home.

I have always been very focused and determined to be successful in my life, and I have never really thought of myself as being disabled, said Rodriguez.

After high school, Rodriguez was referred to Kirby Hodges, a counselor for the deaf in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. Hodges, who is also deaf, provided Rodriguez with guidance and counseling and assisted her with books and tuition while she attended Tulsa Community College.

DRS recognized the success of Rodriguez along with the efforts of Hodges and other staff members by selecting her case as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Case of the Year.

Nancy is an amazing person, and I have no doubt that she will be extremely successful as a model or in any other endeavor that she pursues, said Hodges. …