Class: 1974Inducted: 2007
Mary Henry Lightfoot attended Brookdale Community College for one year after graduating from Asbury Park High School in 1974. She then attended Temple University and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Speech and Hearing Science. She continued her education at Gallaudet and George Washington Universities.
In 1992, Ms. Lightfoot joined the faculty of Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts college for deaf people in the world, and served as an interpreter, mentor and educator.
She is a three-time recipient of Gallaudet University technology grants to explore the use of technology with teaching and interpreting. She has been a recipient and member of the 2003 and 2006 edition of International Who's Who, as well as being included in the 2000 International Who's Who. She was awarded the "Visionary Award" from the National Alliance of Black Interpreters in 2004 for her work with technology and providing online training to multicultural and rural interpreters.
Ms. Lightfoot is also in private practice and speaks at local, national, and international conferences on topics, which include video interpreting, multicultural interpreting, and learning from African American historical figures. She has conducted various workshops on exploring interpreting techniques.
Her involvement in her community includes membership in the registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, National Alliance of Black Interpreters, and Telecommunications for the Deaf, and Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Through these organizations, she reaches out to interpreters of color as well in rural areas to provide access training and knowledge about the field of interpretation.
When asked about her most rewarding accomplishment, Ms. Lightfoot responded that one of her proudest achievements is that she has been able to drive a national agenda for video interpreting with her professional organization and to advocate on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing people for equal access to telecommunication.
She has chosen to quote William Mather Lewis. "The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber."