Deaf Rights Symposium Presentors

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Carmen Aguilar

Carmen Aguilar HeadshotCarmen Aguilar has served for eighteen years in various leadership roles for the Illinois Latino Association and worked with parents of deaf children, service providers, the NCLD and centers for independent living to increase awareness about sign language and Deaf issues. She has worked as a Deaf interpreter for twenty-two years. She was the keynote at Mano Mano under RID Conference She is mother to three boys, one of whom is an interpreter and has blessed her with two grandsons.








 

Karen Aguilar

Karen Aguilar HeadshotMs. Aguilar is the Director of the Chicago Hearing Society, a 101 year old non-profit organization, with a Hearing Health Clinic, Interpreter Services Department and Social Services/Advocacy Department that houses CHOICES for Parents, Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance Programs, Youth and ARMED Programs, tax assistance and SHIP Programs, and more. Ms. Aguilar's past work includes serving as Coalition Director for CHOICES for Parents, a statewide coalition of parents and professionals providing information, support, resources and advocacy to families whose children have a hearing loss. Ms. Aguilar trained the legal community about the rights of persons who are deaf/hard of hearing, and educated the Deaf Community about their rights under state and federal laws in her work with the Midwest Center on Law and the Deaf. Ms. Aguilar received a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and is a state-licensed sign language interpreter.

 

Jason Altmann

Jason Altmann HeadshotJason Altmann comes from a third generation Deaf family in Wisconsin. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Welfare from University of Wisconsin-Madison and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Jason has more than 15 years of work experience in the field of human service and disability service where he has given numerous presentations on community advocacy and best practices in providing reasonable accommodations. Jason currently serves as the Director of Harper College’s Access and Disability Services, serving more than 1,300 students with disabilities. Jason enjoys spending his time with his family and friends, cheering for the Packers and Badgers, volunteering in the Deaf community, and serving his role as the Legislative Committee Chairperson for Illinois Association for the Deaf.




 

Matt Andersen

Matt Anderson HeadshotMatt Andersen (Matt Dans) was born and raised in a Deaf family in Ontario, Canada. He studied in Graphic Media and Advertising/Public Relations and graduated Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) with a Bachelor of Science in 2008. He is interested in how information (advertisements, etc) is received and processed, especially through Deaf person’s eyes. Currently, Matt resides in Chicago, works as a freelance visual communication designer and consultant and as adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago. Most of his projects are within the Arts & Culture field. He has been involved theatre since he was 9 years old. His theatre background includes a wide variety of positions; dancer, actor, choreographer, ASL translator and as a director. Matt works with several theatres in the Chicagoland area as Sign Master/Coach.

 

Rachel Arfa

Rachel Arfa Headshot Rachel Arfa is a staff attorney at Equip for Equality, Illinois' governor-designated protection and advocacy organization, responsible for advocating for the civil and human rights for people with disabilities. Ms. Arfa is also the Project Manager for the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) program, which represents clients who want to work and may experience barriers to employment. Ms. Arfa's work focuses on employment discrimination and civil rights violations, and she represents clients in self-advocacy, negotiation, and representation in administrative forums and in federal court. Ms. Arfa is a founding member of the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC) steering committee and works with other CCAC members to increase accessibility in Chicago's cultural institutions. Ms. Arfa also serves on the Board of Directors for 3Arts which advocates for women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching and visual arts. Ms. Arfa is a member of the ADA25 Advancing Leaders Network, and was named a 2016 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago. Ms. Arfa received a B.A. in American Culture from University of Michigan, and a J.D. from University of Wisconsin School of Law.

 

Michael Argenyi

Michael Argenyi Headshot Dr. Michael Argenyi is a deaf physician. He was diagnosed in infancy with bilateral deafness. Beginning with hearing aids, SEE, and spoken English, Michael added Cued Speech before kindergarten, CART in 8th grade, cochlear implants in college, and ASL in medical school. He uses multiple forms of accommodations depending on the environment, including working alongside designated interpreters. Michael completed his medical degree at Creighton University School of Medicine, and a one year internship in Family Medicine at McGaw Medical Center at Northwestern University at Erie Family Health. He completed his undergraduate at Seattle University, and his Masters of Social Work at Boston University. He currently resides in Boston where he is completing his Masters in Public Health with a focus on children with special health care needs. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and a good book.


 

Corey Axelrod

Corey Axelrod Headshot Corey Axelrod is a native Chicagoan with a background in digital marketing and business development. Corey currently serves as a creative account manager with Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). Prior to CSD, Corey founded Synergetic Business Solutions, a digital marketing communications firm. Corey has also served as a digital marketing coordinator for Purple Communications, director of marketing and business development for Hager Productions and senior field sales manager for Vector Marketing. Corey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Fourth generation with deafness in his family, Corey is also passionate about civic and rights advocacy. He has served as the president of the Illinois Association of the Deaf since 2015 in which one of his goals is to serve as a leading voice in protecting and advancing the interests of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Outside of his work and advocacy, Corey spends his time with his better half, Jennifer, and their two dogs that are nicknamed 'Big and Little Terrors' (BLT).

 

Peter Berg

Peter Berg HeadshotPeter Berg has been coordinating and providing technical assistance as well as conducting training on various aspects of the ADA since he joined the Great Lakes Center in October of 2000. He is a graduate of North Central College in Naperville, IL with a bachelor’s degree in History. Prior to joining the Center he spent seven years with Dominick’s Finer Foods, the last two years as a Customer Service Manager. Peter currently serves as a member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Illinois Accessibility Code Task Force and is the former Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Disability for the city of Naperville where he resides. In addition he currently serves as a member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Illinois Accessibility Code Task Force. Peter was a 2010 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award of Merit and former Chair of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).



 

Juan Bernal

Juan Bernal HeadshotJuan Bernal is extremely active in the local Chicago, national and International Deaf Communities, as a Deaf multilingual ASL Interpreter, the RID Region III Deaf Caucus Representative, and Vice President of the Illinois Latino Association. In 2013 he received the Deaf Illinois Award for Best Deaf Activist. He has modeled ASL for several different Deaf outreach videos for various hospitals, possesses ASL Mentor certification and he has worked as a Deaf Interpreter for the last 18 years. In addition to interpreting full time, he travels to present interpreter workshops on several topics, including, Interpreter test prep, Deaf Interpreting, LSM (Mexican Sign Language), team interpreting with a Deaf interpreter, Latino Deaf Issues, Culture issues, Interpreter for Deaf-Blind individuals, Expressions / Non-manuals, and several others. Juan has owned his business, ASL-Bernal LLC, for 18 years which provides services such as tutoring, mentoring, educational programming, interpreting, acting and presenting. To learn more about services, go to the ASL-Bernal LLC Facebook page.

 

Cicely Boggan

Cicely Boggan HeadshotCicely Boggan is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Northeastern Illinois University with a plan to obtain a Masters in Deaf Education at Gallaudet University. When she is not studying, Cicely can be found on the stage as a comedian/performer and behind the curtains as an advocate for Chicago Deaf performers. As an advocate for young deaf children, Cicely hopes to change the dynamics of deaf education pedagogy.







 

Andrew Daley

Andrew Daley is a lead systemic investigator Chicago District EEOC office

 

Jennifer Eskridge-Hart

Jennifer Eskridge-Hart Headshot Jennifer Eskridge-Hart is an American Sign Language instructor at Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also facilitates ASL-led gallery talks at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, which she greatly enjoys. Jennifer is also an advocate for animal rights.







 

Robin Jones

Robin Jones

Robin Jones is the Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center and an Instructor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has served as director since the Center's inception in 1991. Formerly, she served as founding director of an independent living center in the Chicago area. Prior professional experiences included working as a senior occupational therapy assistant at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and as Assistant to the Head within the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Robin has academic degrees in the field of Occupational Therapy and Public Administration. She has extensive experiences providing training and consultation regarding all titles of the ADA for business, government and disability organizations within the Great Lakes Region and beyond. In addition, Robin serves as a key resource regarding the interplay of the ADA with other legislation and has worked closely with local and state officials to harmonize local laws related to civil rights and architectural accessibility with the ADA. In addition, she has been actively involved in advocacy efforts on the local, state and national levels.

 

Patrick “MrShineyhead” Fischer

Patick Fischer HeadshotPatrick “MrShineyhead” Fischer, CDI, DLM, ASLTA Master, is from several generations of fine artists and actors from Europe and has extensive experience in all things related to theatre and art. Patrick has been involved in a variety of artistic positions (artist, performer, director, producer, teacher, Director of Artistic Sign Language, and consultant) as well as participated in a variety of performances (storytelling, poetry, master of ceremony, skits, and comedy) internationally. Patrick launched his business in 2005 as a way to provide services to those who want to learn more about theatre through Deaf eyes. When not working in theatre he has taught American Sign Language (ASL) and deaf studies, and currently is a certified ASLTA Master instructor. He has taught under the Sign Language Studies Program and Sign Language Interpretation Program in Portland, Oregon and is a Deaf Language Model in Anchorage, Alaska. Patrick has a degree in graphic design is an awarded professional artist and co-owner of the firm, Expert Business Support, Inc. In July 2013 Patrick was awarded the Stephen M Ryan Teacher of the Year for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Deaf culture and humor in Deaf studies presented by American Sign Language Teachers Association in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Traci Goodrich

Traci Goodrich Headshot
Traci Goodrich is a Bilingual Investigator at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission/Washington Field Office (EEOC/WFO). Her role at EEOC is interviewing members of the public who contact EEOC because they believe they have been discriminated against in the workplace. She provides assistance to them in understanding the laws enforced and their rights filing a charge of discrimination. She helps them to file a charge of employment discrimination under federal statutes enforced by the Commission and maintain contact with them during the course of processing their charge. She investigates complaints against the employer. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology and Master degree in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration from Arizona State University.

 

Mardjon Hedayati

Mardjon Hedayati Headshot
Mardjon Hedayati has been with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Washington Field Office in her role as Bilingual Investigator Support Assistant (ISA) since 2015. As an ISA, she works directly with the public in the processing of charges and assists in the development of discrimination cases. She actively works with the community for EEOC sponsored outreach events. Mardjon is passionate about Civil and Human Rights laws and bridging the divide for deaf people and employment discrimination resources. In her current position, Mardjon draws on experience working at Gallaudet as a Facilitator Assistant where she performed and trained others to perform conflict resolution by way of mediation and led community forums on various civil rights topics. In 2014, she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Gallaudet University and received her Human Resources Management Certificate from University of Irvine, California in 2009. Mardjon enjoys traveling with her husband, reading and visiting her family on the west coast.

 

Teri Hedding

Teri Hedding Headshot
Teri Hedding, MA works at Sinai Health System as the Sinai Deaf Community Relations and Research Coordinator. Her previous experience includes management of interpreter and healthcare access for Deaf and hard of hearing patients, statewide coordination of delivery of mental health services for Deaf and hard of hearing consumers, counseling, case management, crisis intervention and advocacy. She is also a certified deaf interpreter (CDI) and has interpreted in various situations in medical, mental health, government, business, and legal settings.





 

Caroline Jackson

Caroline Jackson Headshot Caroline Jackson is a staff attorney with the NAD and co-teaches the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Clinic for the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. She focuses primarily on civil rights litigation, filed on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Caroline first began learning ASL in middle school, following a visit from the Cleveland Sign Stage Theater. Prior to becoming an attorney, Caroline worked as an interpreter in New York City and taught English in the Program for Deaf Adults at LaGuardia Community College. Caroline holds a B.A. in linguistics from Harvard University, an M.A. in education policy from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and the National Interpreter Certification (NIC).




 

Leah Katz-Hernandez

Leah Katz-Hernandez Headshot

Leah Katz-Hernandez served as the West Wing Receptionist for the President—a position commonly known as 'ROTUS' or Receptionist of the United States—from February 2015 - January 2017. Leah rose from being a volunteer in the field for the Obama-Biden 2008 campaign to hold multiple positions on the Obama's White House, Campaign, and Inaugural teams. In between Obama-related positions, Leah was awarded a fellowship on Capitol Hill to focus on strategies to help millennials with disabilities successfully transition to lasting employment and independence. In her personal capacity, Leah has traveled abroad to Chile, Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey to advocate for civil rights for the deaf. It is Leah's passion to make the world of strategic communication and public service more accessible to everyone, and especially to the deaf community. Ms. Katz-Hernandez received her MA in Strategic Communication from American University in 2016 and a BA in Government from Gallaudet Photo Credit: Greg Kahn/ GRAIN University in 2010.

 

April Maman

April Maman Headshot

April Maman is a Student Disability Specialist at the Disability Resource Center (DRC), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her role at the DRC is to work together with individual undergraduate and graduate students with diverse disabilities, to provide them with a comprehensive range of accessibility services, including classroom, fieldwork and exam accommodations, assistive technology and computing resources, media conversion to alternative and accessible formats, ASL Interpreting services and Real Time Captioning (CART) to facilitate access to communication, transportation among others. Her passion is to educate college students on how to advocate for their accommodations, ensuring equal access to all programs and activities on campus. April Maman is thrilled for this opportunity to present at the Deaf Rights Symposium on the importance of how to use accommodations in the higher education setting. The DRC is part of the Office of Diversity and one of seven Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change (CCUSC), from this perspective its mission is to educate the UIC community about topics related to disability rights, identity and culture in collaboration with other CCUSC representing other minorities: Women, Latinos, African- American, Asian-American, Arab-American and diversity in gender and sexuality. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in special education rehabilitation from the University of Arizona and Master degree in counseling from Gallaudet University. Little known fact, April is known as "foodie."

 

Carla M. Mathers, Esquire, CSC, SC

Carla Mathers Headshot Carla M. Mathers is General Counsel to TCS Interpreting. For 16 years, Ms. Mathers was employed as litigation associate with McCollum & Associates, LLC, in College Park, Maryland. Ms. Mathers is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Ms. Mathers graduated magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law and summa cum laude from the University of Maryland. Ms. Mathers' interpreting degree is from the College of Southern Idaho. Ms. Mathers sat on the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts' Advisory Committee on Interpreters Sub-committee on Ethics and Sub-committee on Testing and Training. In 2005, In 2006, Ms. Mathers published Sign Language Interpreters in Court: Understanding Best Practices. She has served as faculty at the University of Northern Colorado, Legal Interpreter Training Certificate Program and an adjunct faculty member at Gallaudet University’s Department of Interpretation.

 

Paul May

Paul May HeadshotPaul May, M.Ed.; DI, has 16 years’ experience as an ASL Professor. He completed the Teaching Medical Interpreting, Train the Trainers program, sponsored by the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC) and the CATIE Center at St. Catherine University. In 1999 Paul received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre Arts Education at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. During that time, Paul was able to bring his background and experience in visual language to good use as a deaf interpreter for a unique grant-funded program called Deaf Hope that supported Deaf and Hard of Hearing victims who lost homes due to floods caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In 2001 he received his Masters of Education degree in Instructional Technology. Paul has been actively involved in the Deaf community as leader, advocate, and member, as well as a foster parent to several Deaf children and recently adopted a five-year-old Deaf boy. Paul has successfully landed a grant to begin a camp for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and CODAs (Children of Deaf Adults) in South Carolina which continues annually.

 

Shannon Moutinho

Shannon Moutinho Headshot Shannon Moutinho is a program specialist at the Great Lakes ADA Center in Chicago working to promote ADA accessibility and awareness to the Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing and interpreter communities in the Midwest region through community outreach and digital media. She is an alumni of Columbia College Chicago’s ASL-English Interpretation program and has worked internationally as a professional and certified freelance sign language interpreter, interpreter mentor, and workshop presenter for ten years. She is published in UIC's Disability in American Life: an Encyclopedia of Concepts, Policies, and Controversies. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in disability studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

 

Ryan Odland

Ryan Odland Headshot Ryan Odland is a Regional Representative for the Rocky Mountain region serving six states including Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Ryan, who is deaf-blind with Usher syndrome subtype 1, holds a bachelor degree in psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology and a master degree in deaf education from Gallaudet University, where he taught a course on the methodological applications of the deaf-blind experience. He has advocated for deaf-blind awareness and program development at local, state and national levels. Ryan is the current President of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind.






 

Benro T. Ogunyipe

Benro T. Ogunyipe HeadshotBenro T. Ogunyipe is an Accessibility Specialist with the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services in Chicago, IL. He is responsible for conducting site inspection for accessibility requirements, investigating disability discrimination complaints, and providing quality resources and accessible services to accommodate persons with disabilities. Benro is also a frequent presenter of sessions on the topic of employment rights and responsibilities of deaf and hard of hearing individuals under the provisions of Title I of the ADA.

Benro has been actively involved with organizations geared towards serving people with disabilities and the deaf and hard of hearing community. He is a current member of the National Council on Disability as appointed by former U.S. President Barack Obama and Employment & Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities Task Force as appointed by Illinois Governor. Benro served as President of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (2011-2013) and as Vice President & Board Chairman (2007-2011). He also served two 3 year-terms as a Commissioner of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Commission (IDHHC).

Benro received his master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the School of Public Service at DePaul University and a BA degree from Gallaudet University.

 

Jose Rios

Jose Rios HeadshotOfficer Jose Rios is a 19 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He graduated with honors in Criminal Justice from Calumet College of St. Joseph and also graduated with honors in ASL/English Interpretation from Columbia College. Officer Rios is licensed to provide ASL/ English interpreting in the states of both Illinois and Michigan. Officer Rios has received numerous awards during his tenure as a police officer including the City of Chicago Human relations award, Cook Country State’s Attorney Community Award, and was inducted into the LGBT Hall of Fame in 2010 for his work with marginalized communities. In addition to speaking English and American Sign Language, he is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.





 

Mary Rosenberg

Mary Rosenberg HeadshotMary Rosenberg is a Staff Attorney for the Civil Rights Team at Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. As a Staff Attorney, she represents people with disabilities in fair housing cases, conducts education and outreach about disability rights laws, and is involved in public policy advocacy. Prior to joining Access Living, Mary was a Staff Attorney at Prairie State Legal Services in Rockford, Illinois, where she represented homeowners in foreclosure as part of Prairie State’s Legal Help for Homeowners Project. She graduated from John Marshall Law School, where she was in the top 3% of her class. Before attending law school, Mary taught middle school and high school special education in New York City through the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education from Pace University. She received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University Chicago.

 

Howard A. Rosenblum

Howard Rosenblum HeadshotHoward A. Rosenblum started as the Chief Executive Officer of the NAD in April 2011 and also serves as an ex officio member of the NAD Board of Directors. He brings to the NAD 25 years of experience as a lawyer, with a focus on disability rights and special education law. For 9 years, he was a Senior Attorney at Equip for Equality, the Protection & Advocacy entity for Illinois. The previous ten years, he worked as an associate at Monahan & Cohen, and briefly as a legal counsel at Access Living, the center for independent living in Chicago. In 1997, he founded the Midwest Center on Law and the Deaf, and served as Board Chair until 2011. In 2010 and again in 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Rosenblum to serve on the United States Access Board. Mr. Rosenblum has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering from the University of Arizona and a Juris Doctor degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. Born and raised in Chicago, Rosenblum is a diehard fan of Chicago sports teams.

 

Crom Saunders

Crom Saunders HeadshotCrom Saunders grew up in Northern California, and graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a M.A. in Creative Writing. In addition to several appearances in full productions, improv events, The Encyclopedia Show, and performing with the ASL Comedy Tour circuit, Crom has his own one-man show, “Cromania!”, which tours internationally. Crom also has interpreted dozens of plays, from children’s theatre to musicals, including at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and has taught dozens of ASL linguistics and theatrical workshops across the nation. He currently teaches as Associate Professor and acts as Director of Deaf Studies at the ASL Department Columbia College, Chicago. Check out some of his poetry translations on his “Ink-Stained Fingertips” Facebook page, or search “Crom Saunders” on YouTube.

 

Jonathan Sondergeld

Jonathan Sondergeld HeadshotJonathan Sondergeld holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Architecture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked in the Linguistics Department at University of Chicago as a researcher and is currently employed by the Art Institute of Chicago as an ASL Gallery Talk guide. Jonathan hopes to be able to expand his involvement in the Art Institute’s ASL program and provide greater cultural access to Chicago’s Deaf/HH community.






 

Hayley Stokar

Hayley Stokar Headshot

Hayley Stokar is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Purdue University Northwest in Westville, IN. Her research is focused on employment access for Deaf adults. Dr. Stokar worked with managers and jobseekers as an employment specialist in the Deaf Services program at JVS Chicago. She holds a PhD from Loyola University Chicago and an MSW from Gallaudet University.





 

Ken Walden

Ken Walden Headshot Kenneth M. Walden is the Managing Attorney for the Civil Rights Team at Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. The Civil Rights Team represents persons with disabilities in civil rights cases under the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws. Ken's work includes directing the team's fair housing enforcement program, which consists of: (a) advice, counseling and representation to persons with disabilities who have fair housing complaints; (b) a disability-specific fair housing testing program; (c) education and outreach about fair housing laws; and (d) public policy advocacy. Ken is also an Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He co-teaches a seminar on disability law. Before joining Access Living, Ken served as Director of the Tenant Advocacy Project of the Public Justice Center (PJC) in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to the PJC, Ken was a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore. Ken received his law degree, with Honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1990. He earned his bachelor's degree, with Highest Honors, from Rutgers College in 1985. Ken is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association.

 

Rachel Weisberg

Rachel Weisberg Headshot Rachel Weisberg is a Staff Attorney at Equip for Equality where she has represented hundreds of clients in disability discrimination cases under Titles I, II and III of the ADA. Rachel enjoys providing in-depth client counseling services, as well as direct advocacy services through negotiation and representation in administrative and judicial forums. Rachel also oversees EFE’s newly launched employment rights helpline, which provides self-advocacy assistance to job seekers and employees with disabilities. Rachel regularly conducts national legal webinars and trainings on ADA legal issues and, from 2012 to 2017, managed the Illinois ADA Project through which she conducted dozens of ADA trainings and provided ADA technical assistance to all stakeholders. In 2014, Rachel was awarded a Chicago Bar Foundation Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship. She is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, and the University of Michigan.


 

Chris Woodfill

Chris Woodfill Headshot Chris Woodfill is the Associate Executive Director of Helen Keller National Center (HKNC). He has been in this position since 2014. Prior to that, he was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative for HKNC from 2012 to 2014. He has worked as an educator for a total of sixteen years at Gallaudet University and Wisconsin School for the Deaf prior to working for HKNC. He is active in both Deaf and DeafBlind communities for many years in different capacities in local, state, national and international levels. He holds a bachelor degree in history and Spanish from Gallaudet University, a master degree in Latin American Studies from the George Washington University and a master degree in Deaf Education from McDaniel College. He is DeafBlind with Usher Syndrome.





Performers:

 

Patrick “MrShineyhead” Fischer

Patick Fischer HeadshotPatrick “MrShineyhead” Fischer, CDI, DLM, ASLTA Master, is from several generations of fine artists and actors from Europe and has extensive experience in all things related to theatre and art. Patrick has been involved in a variety of artistic positions (artist, performer, director, producer, teacher, Director of Artistic Sign Language, and consultant) as well as participated in a variety of performances (storytelling, poetry, master of ceremony, skits, and comedy) internationally. Patrick launched his business in 2005 as a way to provide services to those who want to learn more about theatre through Deaf eyes. When not working in theatre he has taught American Sign Language (ASL) and deaf studies, and currently is a certified ASLTA Master instructor. He has taught under the Sign Language Studies Program and Sign Language Interpretation Program in Portland, Oregon and is a Deaf Language Model in Anchorage, Alaska. Patrick has a degree in graphic design is an awarded professional artist and co-owner of the firm, Expert Business Support, Inc. In July 2013 Patrick was awarded the Stephen M Ryan Teacher of the Year for outstanding contributions to the understanding of Deaf culture and humor in Deaf studies presented by American Sign Language Teachers Association in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

K. Crom Saunders

Saunders HeadshotK. Crom Saunders grew up in Northern California, and graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a M.A. in Creative Writing. In addition to several appearances in full productions, improv events, The Encyclopedia Show, and performing with the ASL Comedy Tour circuit, Crom has his own one-man show, “Cromania!”, which tours internationally. Crom also has interpreted dozens of plays, from children’s theatre to musicals, including at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and has taught dozens of ASL linguistics and theatrical workshops across the nation. He currently teaches as Associate Professor and acts as Director of Deaf Studies at the ASL Department Columbia College, Chicago. Check out some of his poetry translations on his “Ink-Stained Fingertips” Facebook page, or search “Crom Saunders” on YouTube.

 

Wink

Winks HeadshotWink, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice (RID Views, Winter 2012). Presenting workshops the last five years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend, TerpExpo) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV, V), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. A fun fact: in 2015 alone, Wink’s professional travels covered enough miles to circle the Earth over three times.







 

Last Updated on:
Mon Jul 10, 2017