Iceland’s “Magga” Shines As First Deaf Parliament Member

Sigurlín Margrét Sigurðardóttir signs before the Althing at her inaugural speech.During my visit to Iceland this summer, I met Sigurlín Margrét Sigurðardóttir, who was the first deaf person to serve in the Parliament of Iceland. She is a very fascinating individual.  I enjoyed listening to her stories about her time in Parliament, and her insights on the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Iceland.  This had special resonance for me as a deaf person, because many years ago as a high school exchange student, I lived with a family in Iceland for an entire summer — one of the most memorable experiences of my childhood.  I have written a profile of Sigurlín Margrét Sigurðardóttir at — click through to read the article.

2 Comments on " Iceland’s “Magga” Shines As First Deaf Parliament Member"

  1. Correction:

    – Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen was elected to the South African parliament in 1999

    – Your abledbody article also gives a correction (states that a deaf Briton served in the parliament) but no name

    Also, you and your blog readers might be interested in knowing:

    – Helga Stevens was elected to the Flemish parliament in 2004, which is after
    – Helene Jarmer was elected to the Austrian parliament in 2009
    – Adam Kosa is currently a member of the EU parliament
    – Gary Malkowski served in the Ontario, Canada legislature in 1995


  2. Baron Ashley of Stoke served in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords from 1966 to 1992. He had a mild hearing loss “early in his working career,” and became profoundly deaf during his second year as Member of Parliament. Emma Nicholson, who also has a hearing loss (although not as severe as Baron Ashley’s) also served as MP in the United Kingdom from 1987 to 1997.

    I am aware of Stevens, Kosa and Jarmer — they all started terms in their national or extra-national (i.e. EU) legislatures after Iceland’s Sigurðardóttir. The exception is Malkowski, who served in a provincial — not national — legislature.


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