Christy Smith, Deaf 'Survivor'

Athletic Deaf Woman Competed on 'Survivor'

Christy Smith was a deaf celebrity for one television season. A young graduate of Gallaudet University, Smith competed on the Survivor CBS reality show, "The Amazon," in 2003.

Why Christy Smith Was On 'Survivor'

Colorado native Smith was on Survivor to promote deaf awareness and compete for the prize money. She was well-traveled, had a sociology degree, and experience in working with juvenile delinquents.

Survivor was challenging when fellow contestants had to figure out how to communicate with her in the dark, especially because other contestants were not told in advance that Smith was deaf.

Christy Smith at Gallaudet University

At Gallaudet, Smith was involved with the Discovery program, a trust-building activity. Smith had internships working at a juvenile detention center and helped abused women. After graduation in 2000, she worked as a guide at the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf in Colorado. To be a contestant on Survivor, Smith had to compete against thousands of others.

Christy Smith in the Media

Several articles appeared in the media (at one time her popularity score was 88%. Some writers openly stated that they favored her, sometimes because of her deafness).

Smith was voted off Survivor in one of the later episodes, close to the end. Soon after her 15 minutes of fame with Survivor, she opened her own [no longer active] website.

Christy went on to develop a PBS program, Christy's Kids: Challenge Yourself! A pilot episode aired on Denver's KBDI PBS channel.

In 2007, Christy Smith teamed up with Dave Justice to travel around the world to visit deaf people. The purpose of these travels is to capture deaf heritage internationally, and also to interview deaf community leaders.

They have a website, Discovering Deaf Worlds with a photos, videos, and a companion blog.

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