Ms. Adam has never felt that her disability has held her back. Profoundly deaf from birth and growing up in a completely deaf family, Rebecca's first language was Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) and from an early age she enjoyed a confidence to tackle any challenge and live life to the full. In 1995, Rebecca completed a combined degree in Commerce/Law from the University of Melbourne. Upon completion of her studies Rebecca worked at a Melbourne law firm and then another organisation in the area of policy. Rebecca later joined IBM where she has enjoyed a number of roles, the latest being as a Business Program Manager. She also contributed significantly to the success of the 2005 Summer Deaflympics in Melbourne as President of the Deaf Sport Australia.
Mr. Hlibok is deaf and is an attorney advisor at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Disability Rights Office in Washington, D.C. His work involves rulemaking proceedings concerning Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) and telecommunications access for people with disabilities. Within a short four years at the FCC, his office witnessed tremendous progress in TRS, from one type of Service, TTY to several types of services, Video Relay Service, IP Relay, and Captioned Telephone. In his early career, Mr. Hlibok served in two capacities, as a private practicing attorney and a financial consultant. Admitted to the NY Bar, Mr. Hlibok holds a BA in Government from Gallaudet University and a JD from Hofstra University School of Law. He is known for his leadership role during the Deaf President Now movement.
Dr. Kosa is a deaf attorney from Budapest, Hungary and has had a private practice until he was hired as President of the Hungarian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Most recently, the national committee of FIDESZ (www.fidesz.hu/) approved the list of European Parliament representative candidates on 17 January 2009 and Dr. Kosa is among the leading nominees. He has been and is instrumental in promoting social acceptance and empowerment of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to ensure better quality of life and to strengthen the coherence of the Deaf community based on visual culture and to preserve the cultural values of sign language and communicate these values to the external world.
Mr. Søndergaard is a deaf man of considerable achievements who has made countless contributions to improve the quality of life for individuals in the deaf community in local, national, regional, and international arenas. Deaf people have seen major improvements in many different aspects of life, including education, social service, recreation, and government service because of his commitment and dedication. Since 1982, Søndergaard has served as president of the Center for Døve, a national institute in Denmark with programs and services for deaf individuals who are elderly and have multiple disabilities, as well as for deaf youth, social workers, and others. He recently retired as president of the Danish Deaf Association, and he is a board member of Døvefonden, a foundation that raises funds to support the deaf association, organizations for deaf people, and deaf individuals. In addition, he is a former president of the European Union of the Deaf, an honorary life member and former secretary general of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, and finance officer for the World Federation of the Deaf.