Photo credit: Mark Benjamin
Born partially Deaf, Patti grew up without sign language or any exposure to Deaf people prior to learning ASL at the age of 20. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural and Creative Studies at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT. She has received RIT's Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching, RIT's Vagina Warrior award, NTID Student Congress Staff Humanitarian Awards and Outstanding Staff Awards. Durr was one of the founders of Lights On! Deaf Theatre, a community theatre company, and served as artistic director for several years and was the artistic director of the first Deaf Rochester Film Festival (DRFF) in 2005.
Durr has made several award winning short films and educational videos: Don't Mind?, Page Me, EXODUS, WORRY, The Grey Area, HIV and AIDS, Me Too! and numerous Deaf artists interviews. She has published and presented in the area of Deaf View / Image Art, Deaf Cultural Studies, Deaf People and World War II and visual histories.
Durr has also been information architect for the Deaf Artists website (http://www.rit.edu/ deafartists), Deaf People and World War II website (http://www.rit.edu/deafww2) and assisted with the Deaf theatre Website (http://www.rit.edu/ntid/ deaftheatre/). She maintains a blog called People of the Eye (http://handeyes.wordpress. com/) and is involved with activism via Audism Free America and other social justice groups. She created a visual textbook with Dr. Karen Christie exploring and examining expressions of the Deafhood via visual art, ASL and English literature, & Deaf theatre and Cinema - the HeART of Deaf Culture (https://www.ntid.rit.edu/ ntidweb/heart/usr/login.php). Durr has had her De'VIA artworks exhibited in juried shows and she is one of the coordinators of the De'VIA curriculum project (https://deviacurr.wordpress. com/) which trains teachers of the Deaf from across the US and abroad to teach De'VIA based lessons. She is one of the founders of De^ARTivists United - a nonprofit group committed to using art about the Deaf experience for social justice. Durr regularly gives painting workshops within the Deaf community - including to Deaf prisoners and refugees.