Deafness knows no bounds, and Johanna Lucht, a deaf engineer working at NASA, proves that determination leads to success, especially with the right support and a bit of self-advocacy.
Johanna, who has severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss, is the first and only Deaf engineer at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, she says. After landing the job through an internship, she’s found various ways to communicate and thrive in the high-pressure work environment.
Equipped with extensive knowledge in computer science, an ASL interpreter and Phonak hearing aids
, Lucht says she’s been able to collaborate on elaborate aerodynamic projects, but one big communication challenges remains: a lack of ASL sign terminology, fueled by too few Deaf people working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).