Norton, Audree: Deaf Studies Faculty Member (In Memoriam)

Audree Norton was hired in December 1975 and retired in June 1992, after 16 years of dedicated service.  Upon her retirement, she was granted Emeritus status.

In 1952, she graduated from Gallaudet University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature.  She received a Master’s in Rhetoric and Public Address from California State University at Hayward in 1976, while teaching at Ohlone.  She was very honored and thrilled to be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Gallaudet University in 2012.

Audree’s groundbreaking roles as a National Theater for the Deaf founding member and as the first deaf actor to appear on American network television encouraged countless talented deaf actors to pursue their dream of a career on stage and screen.  Her appearances on television and in theaters across the nation had convincingly demonstrated to society, beyond a doubt, the capabilities of deaf people.

Audree was one of the founding faculty members in the Deaf Center and played a significant role in pioneering the deaf instructional program.  She worked tirelessly under great pressure with grace and style as a dedicated instructor, including servicing as coordinator of the Deaf Center.

At Ohlone she continued working in the theatre as an acting instructor, director and speaker, along with the classes she taught in psychology, English and media.  She was a great role model to students, instilling in them a feeling of self-pride and an appreciation of the theatre.

Audree’s teaching career at Ohlone earned her a reputation as a respected and skilled educator.  She passed away on April 22, 2015.