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My life as a deaf attorney and working mother

Where are they now?

Spotlight on CHC Alum Melissa Felder Zappala

Deaf attorney melissa felder

Melissa Felder, CHC Alum

We first got to know Melissa when her parents, Robyn and Barry Felder, brought her to CHC in New York when she was just a year old. Extensive testing confirmed what her parents already suspected: Melissa was deaf. A journey to hearing had begun.

Her parents enrolled her in CHC’s auditory-oral program, and for years she received intensive individual and group communication therapy. With the help of powerful hearing aids, CHC’s support services, and her parents’ guidance, Melissa learned to hear and speak. She developed excellent spoken language and thrived in mainstream schools, including Yale University and Georgetown University law School. Along the way she realized there was nothing she couldn’t do if she applied herself.

Today, Melissa is a highly successful attorney, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner where she specializes in complex commercial litigation. She’s on the National Law Journal’s DC Rising Stars list of 40 lawyers under age 40 and on Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars lists. In addition to having an incredible career, she’s also a terrific mom and CHC supporter.

We invite you to check out Melissa’s story about her personal and professional journey in the January issue of the American Bar Association Journal. Surpassing Expectations, Defying Labels: Life as a Deaf Attorney and Working Mother demonstrates what’s possible today for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Thank you, Melissa for sharing your story and for the hope you inspire in parents struggling to cope with their own child’s diagnosis of hearing loss.

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