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Riss Leitzke


Riss Leitzke is a DeafBlind individual who grew up in Washington State and later moved to Minnesota in 2010 with their hearing family. They have two siblings—one of two siblings is hearing while the other is DeafBlind.  Their family uses American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with each other. In 2020, they graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Outdoor Education and now currently work as a program coordinator at Wilderness Inquiry.

Growing up in a mixed language and social environment among the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities, they have gained rich perspectives and experiences as a Deafblind person mingling among such communities. Riss has a passion for creating accessibility for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities in the outdoors because they believe that wilderness should not be limited to the community. They get involved in the community as much as they can to advocate for the community and empower the youth with disabilities to strive for their goals. 

In their free time, Riss enjoys baking and finding new recipes, exploring new experiences, especially food, and photography, being in the outdoors, and meeting new people.

Riss, a white nonbinary person, wearing a black business jacket in the Capitol
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