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René was born in Quebec, Canada. He grew up in Vermont, graduating from
Austine School for the Deaf and later attending Gallaudet University. He, his brother and two aunts and an uncle have Usher Syndrome.
His work life has included being the Acting Director of DEAF, Inc. in Allston, Massachusetts, and nearly 20 years at VocRehab-Vermont, most of which was as
Vermont's State Coordinator for the Deaf (SCD). René’s last four years of work were as the Coordinator for Northern Vermont for Vermont Center for the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing. René was instrumental in the passage of laws
Supportive of the Deaf community and Vermont interpreters.
He has been married to an interpreter, Joan, for 38 years. They have six
adult children including two adopted daughters and one nine year old
grandson. René lives in a small town in Vermont surrounded by the Green
Long recognized by his Deaf peers as a sought after storyteller, Rene expanded
his repertoire in recent years to chronicle DeafBlind life, "learning through Laughter", as René The Unstoppable. He has also taught numerous workshops on being DeafBlind, Usher Syndrome and on Haptics. Additionally, he is a weekly contributor to Deaf Digest.
State: New York
Christopher C. Woodfill is from Wisconsin and has Usher Syndrome Type I. He is a culturally Deaf ASL user with extensive leadership experience in the Deaf community. He joined the DeafBlind community after attending the Helen Keller National Center for the first time during the summer of 2008. Since then, he has co-facilitated the HKNC summer DeafBlind teen camp program with Angela Brown-Greer in 2009 and 2010 and with Amy Griffin-Otterberg in 2011. Chris has also served on the HKNC Advisory Council since the spring of 2010. He also serves on the Wisconsin DeafBlind Technology Assistance Project Board, which is administered by the Wisconsin Educational Service Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 2009. Lastly, he has presented on topics relating to DeafBlindness in Wisconsin, primarily to the Deaf and interpreting communities. He became an AADB member in the spring of 2010 and attended his first AADB Symposium during the summer of 2011. He then joined the AADB board after the symposium, by appointment.
Chris is a cheese head being born and raised in Wisconsin. He attended and graduated from the Wisconsin School for the Deaf and spent his senior year in Merida, Venezuela as an American Field Service exchange student in 1993. Chris graduated from Gallaudet University with Bachelor's degrees in history and Spanish. Chris then received his Masters degree in Latin American Studies; specializing in history, politics and regional development from George Washington University in 1999. Chris then returned back to Wisconsin to teach high school education at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf where he has been employed since 1999. In 2005, Chris completed a second Masters degree in Secondary Deaf Education at McDaniel College.
Chris is a cheese head being born and raised in Wisconsin. He attended and graduated from the Wisconsin School for the Deaf and spent his senior year in Merida, Venezuela as an American Field Service exchange student in 1993. Chris graduated from Gallaudet University with Bachelor's degrees in history and Spanish. Chris then received his Masters degree in Latin American Studies; specializing in history, politics and regional development from George Washington University in 1999. Chris then returned back toWisconsin to teach high school education at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf where he has been employed since 1999. In 2005, Chris completed a second Masters degree in Secondary Deaf Education at McDaniel College.
In Wisconsin, he has been heavily involved in the Deaf community. Chris was secretary of the Southern Lakes Association of the Deaf from 2000 to 2004. He was also president of Wisconsin School of the Deaf Alumni Association (WSDAA) from 2000 to 2006 and a board member-at-large from 2006 to 2008. WSDAA hosted a very successful 150th anniversary celebration in 2002 and added to its programs, the Service Hall of Fame as well. Chris then joined the Wisconsin School for the Deaf Foundation board in 2003; became the secretary from 2004 to 2007, then president from 2007 to 2010. Now Chris is a board member until his term expires in 2013. Focused on fundraising and board recruitment, he became vice-president of the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf in a competitive election in 2009.
Some of his other key accomplishments are that he played a key role in shepherding the sign language interpreter licensure bill through the state legislature in 2009 and 2010. Chris is currently the Chair of the legislative and bylaws committee and he was re-elected by acclimation in 2011 for another term until 2013. Chris currently serves on the Sign Language Interpreter Council appointed by the Governor of Wisconsin until 2014. He has also completed the administrative rule-writing process and is now on the exemption request and disciplinary action subcommittees. Last, but not least, he is working on a project for National Association of the Deaf related to creating a set of composite bylaws for the various state associations of the Deaf to emulate.
His hobbies are traveling all over the United States and the world, chatting till his hands fall off, having hot political discussions, learning new things every day, eating ethnic cuisines, reading books, Deaf history, watching HGTV, History, Food, Discovery and other such channels, as well as spending time with family and friends.
(To be posted)
Mark Gasaway has been a member of AADB since 1996 and was a board member from 1998 - 2004, running for the board again in 2007 after resigning at the end of 2004.
He has a BA in Social Work from Gallaudet University and MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. He enjoys running, walking, biking, and other outdoor activities.
He has been very active in promoting awareness for the Deaf-Blind, serving on many state boards, committees, and stakeholder groups as well as attendiong many different meetings where he represented the deaf-blind community.
He serves on the Atlanta area Metro Transit Authority as a representative to their Elderly and Disabled Access Committee where he brings up concerns for the Deaf and the Deaf-Blind. He also speaks up for people with other disabilities.
Mark is also the Chairman for the Georgia Deaf-Blind Awareness event, which schedules a luncheon every year to celebrate deaf-blind awareness as well as a Proclamation Signing Day with the Georgia Governor. He is also the Vice-President for the Georgia Association of the Deaf-Blind.
Mark is also a clown where he entertains people of all ages!
Mindy is a DeafBlind with Usher Syndrome type 1. She graduated from Model Secondary School for the Deaf also obtained BA in Psychology and MA in School Counseling from Gallaudet University. Mindy worked 11 years as a school counselor at Louisiana School for the Deaf. She participated in Georgia Association of the DeafBlind and became President in 2012-2014. Currently, she volunteers as an advocate of the DeafBlind community, where she lives. She is one of the administrators for "DeafBlind Thoughts" a group on Facebook.
State: New Jersey
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