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Holly Elliott was familiar with forging new paths. As she describes in her memoir, Teach Me to Love Myself, she was probably the first professionally trained deaf counselor-therapist in the United States. In her initial position as intern and then staff member at the University of California Center on Deafness, she became an advocate of total communication-a combination of sign language, lip-reading and oral competency that was a new horizon for rehabilitation therapy for the deaf. She was one of the first individuals with inner-ear nerve degeneration to receive a prototype cochlear implant and, several years later, one of the first to have an implant upgraded. Finally, in a more general sense of pathbreaking, she made a courageous career shift at mid-life. After twenty-five years of marriage and child-rearing, she accepted her deafness and embarked on a retraining that eventually led to a distinguished professional career. Holly Elliott was an unusual role model for women of her time, and still speaks to our twenty-first-century experience.
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