#DeafHistoryMonth: Kenny Walker - Hearing and Speech Agency

#DeafHistoryMonth: Kenny Walker

Kenny Wayne Walker was born on April 6, 1967 in Crane, Texas, as the youngest of 6 children. Growing up, his mother worked in the cafeteria, while his father was an oil-field worker. At only 2 years of age, Kenny Walker had been diagnosed with spinal meningitis. As a result of this terrible infection, he became profoundly deaf. A few years later, Kenny Walker’s parents divorced, causing his mom and the rest of his siblings to move from Crane, Texas to Denver, Colorado. Walker attended University of Denver as a student in the Deaf Program.        

In addition to being a student, Kenny Walker joined the football team in his sophomore year of high school. Walker was such a valuable player that he received a football scholarship from University of Nebraska, upon his high school graduation, where he become known as one of the fastest lineman in the state. Walker was also the first Deaf student to attend University of Nebraska.

Later in Walker’s football career, he was named, Defensive Player of the Year, and in 1991 he was selected by the Denver Broncos in its 8th round of the NFL Draft. Although many teams doubted Walker because of the fact that was Deaf, Dan Reeves, head coach for the Denver Broncos saw potential in him. In 1993, he was released by the Broncos and picked up by the Calgary Stampeders a year later.

So why is Kenny Walker an important individual in deaf history? He refused to let his deafness stop him from achieving greatness while on the field. Sure, there may have been times where Walker wanted to give up. He may have felt like he couldn’t do it anymore, but with the love and support from his family and friends he kept moving forward.

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