May - June 2013
A message from Director Lisa Kornberg
Hello! This is a very exciting monthly bulletin. Not only am I honored to introduce our new Deputy Director, Zainab Alkebsi, who started work with our office on May 6, 2013 - but we also have some inspiring information to share about our past Deputy Director, Julie Anne Schafer, who recently left our "family".
In addition, June is a very busy month. We have the official start of hurricane season, ODHH is hosting another Town Hall Meeting on the Eastern Shore, and there are more Brown Bag Lunch events coming your way! Be sure to check the "FYI" section of the bulletin to stay up to date with these events and other important community information.
We are also pleased to share information with you about the upcoming Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Annual Conference being hosted in Portland, OR at the end of June.
Finally, Maryland continues to be a leader with innovative programs and projects. We are eager to share details with you about The Parent Connection Program. Please be sure to see our Vlogs - and enjoy!
"Hello!" From ODHH's New Deputy Director, Zainab Alkebsi
Hello! My name is Zainab Alkebsi, or "Z" for short. I am the new Deputy Director at ODHH and I am thrilled to be joining this team. Our prior Deputy Director, Julie Schafer was a terrific asset to ODHH during her time here and she will certainly be missed! However, we are excited for her and we know she will do great things at the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).
I received my BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). I am a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and a member of the Maryland Bar.
I remember when I was 13 years old sitting in a dark theater and unable to understand the movie due to the lack of captioning. While the audience roared with laughter, I began to develop my resolve to be an advocate for disability rights. I now hope to bring that passion and dedication to representing the Governor's goal of providing equal and full access to all Marylanders for participation in all aspects of community life through the provision of appropriate accommodations.
If you would like to contact me, please feel free to do so anytime at:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Towson University Honors Julie Anne Schafer
Recently, Towson University's Alumni Association honored Julie Anne Schafer, prior Deputy Director here at ODHH, with the Dean's Recognition Award for 2013. Each year the Association selects only a few graduates for their outstanding professional accomplishments. Julie graduated in 2005 from the Deaf Studies Program in the College of Health Professions at Towson and then went on to the University of Baltimore School of Law.
The Awards Banquet was held only a few weeks after Julie left ODHH to become the new Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Both former and current ODHH Staff attended the banquet to support and congratulate Julie.
We are proud and grateful that Julie shared her passion and expertise with ODHH for so many years. Her new position with RID is a national platform from which she can expand her tireless work advocating for equal access to programs and services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind Communities through a focus on communication with the Interpreting Community throughout the country.
ODHH and the Maryland community wish to say, "Thank you, Julie!" We congratulate you on this wonderful award from Towson University and we eagerly look forward to seeing the new successes you bring to RID. Good Luck!
HLAA Annual Convention 2013
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) will hold its annual convention in Portland, Oregon from June 27 to June 30, 2013. At the Research Symposium on June 28, research audiologists from the VA National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) will describe the findings of Hearing Rehabilitation studies taking place at the NCRAR. Also, veterans with hearing loss are invited to join HLAA for a special presentation on Saturday, June 29, when Hamilton CapTel will present Hearing Loss Solutions for Veterans. Veterans can learn about assistive technologies and how to navigate relationships with one's hearing partner or spouse. Veterans will also have the opportunity to participate in an open forum and engage with audiologists and hearing health care professionals.
The Keynote Speaker is Howard Weinstein, inventor of the Solar Ear. Weinstein is the founder of the startup company Godisa Technologies, which employs many who are deaf. The company created three new products: a solar energy powered hearing aid, and analog solar charger, and a rechargeable battery. The aforementioned hearing aid runs on new solar-powered batter technology, thereby eliminating the economic burden of purchasing regular zinc batteries. In 2005 Godisa won an International Design Award for the best product in Africa. Through his products, Weinstein has provided access to hearing aids for those with hearing loss living in the developing parts of the world.
The Parent Connection
The Parent Connection Program provides emotional support and information for parents who have recently discovered that their child has a hearing loss. Parents have many questions and concerns regarding their child's needs and emotional support. You are not alone!
There are parents who already have this experience. Personal support from parents who have deaf or hard of hearing children can help with the many challenges and emotional situations you may be facing. Parent mentors are available to provide support and information based on their comprehensive training and personal experiences. If you want to contact a parent mentor, please get in touch with the Parent Connection Program Coordinator, Cheri Dowling. You can email Cheri at: email@example.com.
Parent mentors will contact you via telephone or by email. Also, all information you choose to share with your parent mentor is kept strictly confidential. the Maryland Parent Connection Program is part of the Parents' Place of Maryland and there is no cost associated with these services.
Did you know Hurricane Season Officially Starts June 1st?
Be sure to check out the links below to see how you can get a head start on Emergency Preparedness!
Town Hall Meeting with ODHH and MDAD June 1st 11am - 3pm
Hosted by: Cross Pointe Church of the Nazarene 27765 Nanticoke Road Salisbury, MD 210801
Part of Family Fun Day! Beginning at 3:00pm join with ODHH, MDAD, PCRID, DORS, and MD Relay. Sponsored by: ESAD, In His Hands Deaf Ministry, and Quota Inc.
Brown Bag Lunch Is Back!
The next BBL: Friday, May 31, 2013 12:00 PM Workforce Technology Center Room T130 2301 Argonne Drive Baltimore, MD 21218 Remember to bring your Bagged Lunch! BBLs began many years ago as a networking opportunity for professionals working with deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals.
The BBL is open to all who work with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind. If you are interested in hosting a BBL, please let us know. We look forward to seeing you all there!
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!