2009-10-02 / Community

Author Josh Swiller To Address Adelphi

Adelphi University is pleased to invite Josh Swiller, author of the University’s First Year Reading Program choice, “ The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa ,” as he details his transformative two-year experience volunteering for the Peace Corps. The event will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AU PAC), Concert Hall, 1 South Avenue, Garden City, NY. The lecture is co-sponsored by the First Year Experience Committee, Committee on Individuals with Disabilities, and the Adelphi Collaboration Project ‘09: ICAN Make Change. It is free and open to the public.

Mr. Swiller was born with a severe hearing loss and was considered legally deaf by the age of four. Despite the exceptional guidance and support from his family and an audiologist, Mr. Swiller still felt out of place in the hearing world. He questioned the meaning and purpose of life, which only intensified following his education at Yale University, where lectures and social events were tailored to the hearing. Mr. Swiller also felt out of place at Gallaudet University, the national university for the deaf, as his excellent lip-reading and speaking skills set him apart from his peers. It wasn’t until he was assigned to Zambia, Africa, by the Peace Corps for two years that he finally found a place where his disability was nearly inconsequential compared to his foreign differences. He quickly learned that deafness was the least of his worries in a new, and at times, dangerous environment.

The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness in Africa ” is an account of Mr. Swiller’s two years in Zambia, Africa, and is narrated with a piercing sense of humor. Throughout his book, though faced with unimaginable danger and near-certain death, Mr. Swiller manages to rise above the difficulties presented to him and take everything in stride.

ICAN Make Change, the Adelphi Collaboration Project, involves multiple campus constituencies in a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort to educate, inspire, empower, and engage our Adelphi community through learning about, as well as taking part in, local and global actions to create the world we dream about. For a list of scheduled events for the fall, please visit


For more information about this lecture, please contact

Associate Professor Deborah

Little at (516) 877-4113 or


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