Carol-lee Aquiline was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the USA and became deaf from meningitis in early childhood. She attended the DePaul Institute, a Catholic oral school for the deaf, until the age of eleven, when she did her remaining education in hearing schools and went on to study at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Carol-lee was working for the National Theatre of the Deaf (USA) from 1978 to 1982 when she was asked to come to Australia to teach Deaf Theatre. This work was originally planned for one year but she ended up staying in Sydney for over ten years. During the time Carol-lee lived in Australia, she worked for the Australian Theatre of the Deaf and eventually became their first Deaf Artistic Director. She then took on the role as the first Manager of the Australian Association of the Deaf (AAD) National Advocacy Service, finally becoming Executive Director of the organisation.
From 1988 to 1994 Carol-lee was a member of the Deaf Society’s Board of Management and served as their Deputy Chairperson from 1991 to 1994. For a time she was also employed with the Deaf Society in Community Education and Training.
In 1996, Carol-lee became the General Secretary for the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). She left Australia for Europe and lived in Geneva in Switzerland, Ferney-Voltaire in France, Stockholm in Sweden and Helsinki in Finland. In her role with the WFD, Carol-lee worked with the United Nations, UNESCO, WHO and other international bodies. After leaving the WFD in 2005, she adopted a deaf son from Russia and moved back to the USA.
Since 2007, Carol-lee has been an adjunct professor in the American Sign Language and Interpreter Education program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Virginia, USA. She is a certified Deaf Interpreter and works as an ASL and International Sign interpreter. Carol-lee has also worked as an ASL Specialist and Deaf Role Model at the Indiana School for the Deaf as well being a consultant, trainer and workshop leader.
Website at www.discoveringdeafworlds.org