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Father Cyril Axelrod

Saturday the 25th of August, 2012 was a special day at Senses Foundation with Deafblind priest Father Cyril visiting us to share his life story. Father Axelrod is a Redemptorist priest who was born Deaf and was diagnosed with progressive blindness in his forties due to Ushers Syndrome. He was one of the first Deaf people in the world to train to become a Catholic priest.  He currently lives in London and helps the Deaf and Visually Impaired population in the Camden Town area.

“Most people’s view of deafblindness is that it is unspeakable, unthinkable and unimaginable. For me it has become a new way of life and one that has offered a new direction…It has become the best teacher in my life.” Fr. Cyril Axelrod

Fr Cyril uses himself as an example to those he interacts with, showing them that disabilities do not have to be barriers for people to be effective and equal members of society. “I think that out of all the projects I have, the most important one is myself as a model”, he explained. By allowing others to see that his deafness and blindness were not hindrances to developing his unique skills and talents, he could become a living example of hope for them.

Father Cyril spent his time in Perth as a guest of the Emmanuel Centre, a Catholic self-help centre for people with disabilities and addressed numerous schools, disability services and Deaf communities in his role as bridge-maker. He hopes that one day he will have the opportunity to reside in Western Australia to work with and advocate for people who are Deafblind.  Thirty three people attended the day and were enthralled and inspired by Father Axelrod’s story and philosophies

“Regardless of whether we are hearing or Deaf or have any other disability, we are all equal and must have the same rights to education and work. We need to understand each other’s differences, but not be frightened … we have to respect one another.”

Following links can be included on website page

Article in The Record Catholic Newspaper
http://www.therecord.com.au/news/in-depth/deaf-blind-and-with-a-vision/
The Record is a Perth based publication – see website www.therecord.com.au
Father Cyril’s website www.cyrilaxelrod.wordpress.com
Father Cyril’s book  ….