#DeafSuccess: Rebecca Giuntoli, Engineering and Welding Student

Sep 22, 2021

Rebecca Giuntoli is a #deaf Engineering and Welding Student currently attending the University of Texas at Austin. In her #DeafSuccess story, Rebecca illustrates the importance of choosing a school that’s right for you and the impact of having the full support of a teacher who recognizes that not all students have the same advantages. Passion has taken Rebecca far in her studies as she continues to work toward creating positive systemic change in the Civil Engineering field for a safer, cleaner world.

Full video description: https://tinyurl.com/2f74h3zn

Video Description:

Rebecca, a college-age white woman with long curly dark blonde hair wears glasses, a Chevrolet Detroit tee shirt, and denim oxford.  Her nails are manicured with dark red polish. She sits in a welding room amid equipment and others working in the background. She signs ASL.

Speech:

My father owns a construction company and has worked in construction my whole life. Growing up, there were always a lot of tools in the garage. I  wanted to use those tools to make something on my own and show Dad I could do construction, too. He only gave me hand tools though. He would let me use a saw or a screwdriver, but power tools? He said absolutely not. Despite my pleas, he told me I had to wait until I got older.

Video Description:

Rebecca with her hair up, in a green welding suit and face shield that is flipped up on top of her head, focused on welding. A banner reading “Rebecca Giuntoli; engineering and welding student” is on the screen, overlapping her right shoulder.  


Interview in ASL continues.

Speech:

I had to rethink my priorities. Was my priority to go to Gallaudet or RIT?  That would mean me changing what I really wanted in order to fit those schools.  Or would I seek out a college education that fit me and what I wanted? I knew I’d have to fight for access during college, but the lessons learned would stay with me for the rest of my life. After all, college is just four short years.  I thought that environmental engineering would be a good fit, because most people don’t realize this, but it’s scientists who find problems, but they bring them to engineers to solve. I’ve loved solving problems for as long as I can remember.  I thought that through environmental engineering, I could save the world.

Video Description:

Rebecca looks at a computer screen with several images on it depicting the plastic recycling process.

Interview in ASL continues.

Speech:  

I am currently a Junior at the University of Texas in Austin. I am studying civil engineering, and minoring in ASL.  Also I study Welding Technology at Austin Community College during the summer. When I’m not working, I study there. My goal is to work with underground and underwater structures in the oil industry. It’s what I’ve always wanted: a perfect combination of environmental protection and welding, which suits me well. I like to challenge myself, so I embrace changes as I get into this field. I know it’s what’s best for me.

Interview in ASL continues.

Video Description:

Rebecca in the same green welding suit with her face shield down and welding as sparks fly from her metal project.

Interview in ASL continues.

Speech:

My first class at UT was quite a shock. There were five hundred, five hundred fifty students in a large lecture hall.  I think it was the largest class at UT.  That was my first college class and I definitely struggled. I credit Doctor Laude, a great teacher and one of the best professors at UT. He met with me one-on-one for an hour almost every other week. Every two weeks, even though he had five hundred fifty students, even though he was a vice president, high-ranking at the university, he was still willing to meet with me and teach me study skills and basic college survival skills.  I learned so much. He recognized that I, being deaf, didn’t have the same advantages as most other students.  ASL is my first language, not English. He was my teacher my entire first year and he saved my life. If it weren’t for him, I probably would have dropped out of university.

People think that my accommodations give me an unfair advantage, but they don’t. It’s not something I want, but a need.  Accommodations are meant to get me on the same level as the other students.

Video Description:

Rebecca is in welding class with an interpreter and another welder, all donning welding gear and sanding around a table.  Next, Rebecca is welding.

Interview in ASL continues.

Speech:

Always look at yourself as a human first. Look at your humanity first, your passions. Don’t worry about fitting in, or the fact that you’re deaf. Instead, look at what you want and go get it. In the United States, laws are on your side. Like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sometimes you’ll have to adapt, but that’s all a part of pursuing your dreams.

Video Description:

Final shot in black and white, Rebecca focused on a project, in her welding suit and face shield flipped up. A teal banner with white text #DeafSuccess is on the bottom right corner.

NDC Logo appears above text, black lettering on a white background: nationaldeafcenter.org

“This video was developed under a jointly-funded grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) #HD326D160001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the federal government.”

Next to it, three logos appear. The first reads “IDEAs that Work” with an arrow drawing a circle from “IDEAs” to “Work” and the words “U.S. Office of Special Education Programs”. The second logo shows a red-and-blue star with text next to it that reads “TA&D”. The third logo shows a blue circle around a tree. In the blue circle are the words “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.”

End of Accessibility Document

Subtitles available in English and Spanish | Subtítulos disponibles en español y inglés

Watch more Deaf Success stories: https://tinyurl.com/y3gkhtjw

How to support deaf youth through mentoring and role models: https://www.nationaldeafcenter.org/re…

Questions? Email us: help@nationaldeafcenter.org

Subscribe to the National Deaf Center YouTube channel for new videos that support and empower deaf youth to succeed after high school: https://www.youtube.com/c/NationalDea…

More at nationaldeafcenter.org
▶︎ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationaldeaf…
▶︎ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nationaldea…
▶︎ Twitter: https://twitter.com/nationaldeafctr

© National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Video licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

Save This
Topic(s): #DeafSuccess
Type of Resource: Videos

Need Help?

Fill out this form to get help from the NDC team.  Can’t see the form below? Click here to contact the NDC team.