Claudia Gordon, a Jamaican immigrant and deaf lawyer, has been named Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. Previously employed at the U.S. Department of Labor where she handled potential cases of discrimination by federal contractors, Gordon will now be a direct link between the Obama Administration and the disability community. Gordon lost her hearing at the age of eight and was motivated to become a lawyer in response to the discrimination she face in Jamaica while growing up. Immigrating to the U.S. with her family while still a child, she was later a student at the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York and learned sign language. She was the first deaf student to graduate from the Washington College of Law at American University. She has worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center. Gordon cites her mother as her chief role model, saying she had a profound faith and perseverance that she displayed while raising her three children by herself in rural Jamaica. Gordon says her mother, her aunt Mildred Taylor and her grandmother Viola Parsons created an environment for the children that gave them a sense of responsibility, dignity, pride, and a love of education that motivated them to overcome any obstacles in the way of their success.