Women’s Hall of Fame

Gerda Cohn

At 94 years of age, Gerda Cohn has overcome numerous life challenges and has made a significant difference in the community, touching the lives of many with her positive attitude and exuberance for living life to the fullest. Gerda began losing her eyesight 12 years ago, had one eye removed 5 years ago and from the onset of her physical challenges, became an advocate for seniors and people who have disabilities. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities where she chairs the Special Events committee to increase awareness of disabilities and has been active in planning the People who Care Awards Dinner. Gerda is also an active member of the San Mateo County Chapter of the California Council of the Blind. Gerda has given particular emphasis to helping young people develop an awareness and sensitivity towards people with disabilities. She successfully convinced the San Mateo County Office of Education to include the Commission’s Disabilities Awareness Curriculum for third grade students on their website. As a result, every teacher in San Mateo County has access to the curriculum. Gerda is also directly involved in providing students with experiential activities to help them better understand what it is like to have a disability. She has been an active volunteer at the Spring Valley Elementary School in Millbrae where she talks with students in the second grade classrooms and shows them how to use a white cane. She also learned to be a puppeteer, traveling to schools to participate in the “Kids on the Block” puppet show that demonstrates different disabilities through life-size puppets. This energetic and determined woman is an inspiration to all who meet her.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in .

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