Chyah Burghard, a deaf female bridge player, fought
discrimination against the deaf by the American
Contract Bridge League (ACBL)- and won! For years
until late eighties, deaf bridge players were
discriminated and the ACBL would not do anything
to accommodate the deaf. Hearing bridge players
would call out their bids, and ignored pleas
by deaf players to tell what the bids were. They
would not even write down on a pad what the
bid was! The hearing players turned their heads
away from the deaf, dangled cigarettes on
their lips, would not indicate on the numbers
of fingers their bids, etc.
Making it worse was that the ACBL rule book
said nothing about accommodating the
She then lobbied the delegates at the
annual ACBL meetings – and discovered
that many senior citizen players have
hearing losses – but were too afraid
to fight for their rights.
One by one, she won over these delegates
and a new rule was passed – that all
players must write down on note pad
their bids and place them in the bid box!