Who Is Greg Livadas?:
Greg Livadas is a former reporter for the Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. Rochester is home to a large deaf community, and Greg Livadas frequently wrote about deafness for the newspaper.
Does Livadas Have a Deaf Connection?:
Greg Livadas is not deaf. He is hearing. His grandmother became totally deaf but never learned to sign.
How Livadas Became the "Deaf" Reporter:
Livadas began his coverage of the deaf community unexpectedly, when one day long ago he got a relay call asking the newspaper to cover a deaf poetry reading. He had never had a relay call, and was inspired to write an article about relay services. Then later, when the Democrat and Chronicle established a "deaf beat" to improve coverage of deafness, Livadas took on the challenge.
Livadas' Deafness Involvement:
Livadas has learned sign language and even joined a deaf bowling league to hone his signing skills. In his own words, Livadas writes: "I can still see two people going at it with ASL at a good clip and not have an idea what they are saying. Much of the interviewing I do is via email or TTY. I'd like to have more interpersonal contact with deaf people, but it IS hard for me to look and take notes at the same time."
Livadas Becomes Media Relations Director:
In late 2007, Livadas left the Democrat and Chronicle to assume the post of director of media relations for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York. Asked why he left to take the position, Livadas said "When I decided to leave the paper, I only considered working at RIT/NTID," he said. "It is such a unique college, everyone seems so energetic and this position will allow me to continue working with the deaf community. I would have felt a hole in my life without that connection."