Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Betty G. Miller

Betty G. Miller is both a professional visual artist, and a professional counselor working in the field of alcohol and drug abuse with deaf and hard of hearing people. Betty Miller holds an Ed.D. in art education from Penn State University; and is a certified alcohol and drug counselor (C.A.D.C., a certification formerly known as C.A.C., clinical alcohol counselor).

As a professional artist, she is nationally known for her expression of her deaf experience — a genre that has come to be named Deaf View/Image Art — De’VIA.

As a counselor, she has worked for over 20 years in the field, her primary area of focus being training. Betty Miller has given numerous workshops and training sessions for counselors working with deaf people.

Betty G. Miller is a nationally known as a Deaf certified alcohol counselor, and consultant. Betty Miller is the first deaf person to have a certification as an addiction counselor. Betty Miller has worked with Deaf persons with alcohol and drug abuse problems for the past 25 years.

Betty Miller’s expertise, training, and experience as a consultant cover various aspects of the field of alcoholism and substance abuse, such as education, training, counseling, consultation, aftercare, recovery, advocacy, and networking with the members of the Deaf community and substance abuse treatment professionals. Betty Miller was employed at Deafpride, Inc., Washington, D.C., working with Deaf persons in recovery for 7 years. Betty Miller provides training, advocacy and education to organisations in the Deaf community, schools and programs for Deaf youth, social services which work with Deaf people, and training to staff members of substance abuse treatment programs. Betty Miller has taught several courses on substance abuse and the Deaf community.

Currently, she is doing consultation, training, and private practice in counseling with recovering Deaf persons, families, and friends. Betty Miller is an author/illustrator of Deaf and Sober: Journeys through Recovery, published by the National Association of the Deaf, Silver Spring, MD.

Betty Miller is a professional Deaf Artist, well-known throughout the U.S.A. Betty Miller’s parents were also Deaf. Betty Miller has participated in many art shows, mostly in Washington, D.C. Betty Miller is primarily known for the visual representation of her Deaf experience, some of which has been published in Deaf Heritage by Jack R. Gannon.

Betty Miller’s first one woman show depicting the Deaf experience, entitled “The Silent World,” was held at Gallaudet College in 1972 when she was an Art Professor there. Later, in the ’80s and ’90s, she continued with her one woman and group art shows, with a theme of “The Deaf Experience.” These shows were held in Takoma Park, Maryland, 1989; at Gallaudet University, in 1989, 1990, and 1992; and in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, DC, and in Chicago, Illinois in 1992 and 1993.

Betty Miller’s art works were also exhibited in a a show that was the first of its kind in the USA: a group art show with 8 Deaf Artists, all of whose art work was related to their Deaf experience. This show was curated by Brenda Schertz and held in the Northern Essex Community College Gallery, Haverhill, Massachusetts, September, 1993.

October 1996, Betty Miller completed a neon artwork project for the North Carolina Arts Council titled “ASL: Past, Present, and Future.” The 16 ft wide by 6 ft high artwork can be seen in the lobby of the Student Activities Center at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, Wilson, NC.

When asked to explain the values behind her work, Betty Miller replied:

“Much of my work depicts the Deaf experience expressed in the most appropriate form of communication: visual art. I present the suppression, and the beauty, of Deaf Culture and American Sign Language as I see it, both in the past, and in the present. Oppression of Deaf people by hearing is actually cultural, educational, and political. Another aspect of my work shows the beauty of Deaf culture. I hope this work, and the understanding that may arise from this visual expression, will help bridge the gap between the Deaf world, and the hearing world.”

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