Contact: Dr. Karen DilkaEastern Kentucky University • Date submitted to deafed.net – May 29, 2007 • To contact the author for permission to use this PowerPoint, please e-mail: Karen.Dilka@EKU.EDU • To use this PowerPoint presentation in its entirety, please give credit to the author.
Background Information • Born Feb. 24, 1973 in Dothlan, Alabama • At 18 months contracted a type of influenza. • Treated with 2 types of antibiotics • After the combination of these, she was left completely deaf in her right ear, and had a 95% hearing loss in the left ear.
Education • Learned lip reading and speech at Doreen Pollack Acoupedics Center in Denver. • Attended public elementary school in Alabama. • She went on to attended a 3yr. Program at Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis
Education Con’t. • Attended Birmingham Arts Academy to study ballet • Graduated from public high school with a 3.6 GPA, without the use of a ASL interpreter • Went on to attend Alabama’s Jacksonville State university
On the Road to Miss America • Entered pageants to help pay for her education • Participated in the Miss Deaf Alabama Pageant • Placed 1st Runner -Up in the Miss Alabama Pageant before winning
Becoming Miss America • Performed ballet routine and received a standing ovation • Won talent and swim suit competitions • Her official platform was “With a positive attitude, anything is possible”
S*T*A*R*S • SUCCESS THROUGH ACTION AND REALIZATION • 1. Have a positive attitude • 2. Believe in your dream • 3. Face you obstacles • 4. Work hard • 5. Build a support team
Views of Communication • Believes that ASL is constraining • Prefers Signed Exact English • Depends on her eyes and lip reading for communication • Does not consider herself as part of the Deaf community
What Heather is doing now • Serves as a executive board member on the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities • Involved with a public service campaign to identify early hearing loss • Works with the Helen Keller eye research foundation
Fun Facts • S*T*A*R*S program has been introduced in a Birmingham area school • Heather married a former Congressional Aide, John McCallum • She writes devotionals and delivers inspirational speeches • Her mother used Heather’s interest in Princess Di to inspire written and oral exercises
How to contact Heather • Arrange speaking engagements through her agent: Washington Speakers Bureau 1663 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314 • For autographed pictures write to: Heather Whitestone McCalllum P.O. Box 672801 Marietta, GA 30006
Resources • www.wpsd.org/deafawareness/hwhitestone.html • Yes, You Can, Heather! By Daphne Gray • www. Jsu.edu/alumni/missamerica.html • “Beyond the Sound Barrier” Time Magazine 10/3/94 • “Cut To The Chaste” People Magazine 4/1/96