If I've ever captioned for you, you have this woman to thank. If you've received personal captioning accommodations, in some way, you likely have her to thank. She was a pioneer in this field.
Another month, another loss. As if holidays weren't challenging enough. Today, I lift up my mentor and dear friend of 25 years, Rhett Simmons.
She knew me as a shy college girl, took me under her wing, and molded me into a fierce captioning machine. She taught me everything I know about captioning and quite a bit about how to be a woman I can be proud of. She was a gentle, warm, kind-hearted spirit who championed for the underdog.
She was hit hard in these final years and made lemonade out of lemons. She lost her sight and adapted and kept West Coast Captioning running and growing.
Then she lost her leg and became an advocate on Capitol Hill for people with limb loss, and their ability to have access to prosthetics, and accompanying mental health care. She stood proudly on her remaining leg where many would cower.
Both tips of the iceberg and things she was candid about and comfortable sharing with others. She was very private about her struggles. Working in this field will do that. Every day we work with warriors who live their daily lives with the stigma of being "disabled" and having to go above and beyond to "make up" for the ways society labels them "less than." Rhett dedicated her life helping others overcome the stereotypes and stigmas by walking alongside them, and ultimately becoming "one of them." She stepped into those shoes and walked the walk with grace and determination, with the pioneer mentality that she could bring her years of experience, her brand, and her people alongside her.
Anyone who knew Rhett knew she was a woman of action. She was a powerhouse. She was a friend -- one of my dearest. She supported my big life change a few years ago. It meant leaving everything I have ever known the way I've always known it. It meant leaving my family, my friends, my church, the homebase of my 23-year career. Her. What did Rhett do? She booked a retreat for a handful of us to spend a weekend in Monterey. #captioning #CART #stenographer #realtimecaptioning - 2 hours ago