Click here to read the 2016 NFADB Mid Year Report
Meet NFADB’s Board of Directors made up of individuals with varied talents, skills and undeniable passion for NFADB’s mission.
Clara Berg President Email Clara
I am from New York and my husband and I have three adult children. Our middle son, Kenny, is deaf-blind due to complications of prematurity. Kenny lives in his own apartment and works at a farm with the constant support of specialized staff. I recently retired from my position as Family Specialist for the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative, after almost three decades working within the New York Deaf-Blind State Projects.
Vice President Email Stephanie
My husband and I live in the Texas Hill Country. I am both a family member and a professional. I currently work as a university adjunct professor and have a counseling practice in Lampasas and Burnet, Texas.
Treasurer Email Jacqueline
My husband and I live in Texas and have three adult children. Our middle child, Patsy, is deaf-blind. She lives at home and is self-employed. In addition to NFADB, I am on the Board of a small non-profit, Deaf-Blind Service Center of Austin. I am also a member of the Texas Deaf-Blind Task Force and the Deaf-Blind Multi-handicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT).
Patti McGowan Secretary Email Patti
I live outside of Pittsburgh, PA with my husband and three young adult children. Our youngest son, Hunter, is deaf-blind and is diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type II. I also work as one of the two Family Consultants with the Pennsylvania Deaf-Blind Project, and have had the opportunity to work with National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) and Perkins in my role as a parent leader.
Edgenie Bellah Affiliate Coordinator Email Edgenie
I am from Texas and serve on the NFADB board as a professional member. My husband and I have three sons who share our passions for fun, food and serving. Professionally, I work for the Texas Deafblind Project as the family support specialist.
Carly Fredericks Board Member Email Carly
My husband Paul and I reside in New Jersey with our three children, Ava, Mason , and Miley. Ava has Usher Syndrome Type 1b. I support other families as the Family Specialist for the New Jersey Consortium on Deaf-Blindness. Our family also founded a non-profit called, “Ava’s Voice” that provides financial assistance to local families affected by hearing and/or vision loss, to advance the understanding by funding research, and provides resources and education to the public.
Diana Griffen Board Member Email Diana
I joined the board to continue the work of my mother, Mary O’Donnell, who was one of the founders of NFADB. I live in Exton, Pennsylvania with my husband Charlie. I work as a nurse and community volunteer, and we have three adult children. I am co-guardian with my brother Tim for our 52 year old sister, Sara, who has been deaf-blind since birth as a result of congenital rubella syndrome.
Kim Huston Board Member Email Kim
I live outside of Austin, TX. with my husband and my youngest of two adult children. She is deafblind and in a wheelchair due to ataxia. I have the privilege of working as my daughter’s intervener when she is not taking classes at the community college. I serve on two local boards in Austin and attend online classes in deafblindness at USU.
Gwen Sirmans Board Member Email Gwen
I am from Georgia, where I live with my husband and our two sons and daughter. Our daughter, Ivey, is deaf-blind with a chromosomal 21-q partial deletion which encompasses many medical complications. I also serve as the Family Support Coordinator for our state’s deaf-blind project, the Georgia Sensory Assistance Project.
Stephen Perreault Policy and Outreach Advisor Email Stephen
I am from Massachusetts. I worked as a professional in the field of deaf-blindness for more than 35 years. I bring my experience as the former Perkins International Regional Coordinator for services in Latin America and the Caribbean and, more recently, as a regional representative for the Helen Keller National Center to my board role.
Pearl Veesart Adult Community Liaison
Megan Cote NCDB Liaison & Special Advisor Email Megan
I am from Kansas where I live with my husband and 3 children. I started my career as a classroom teacher and then moved to providing technical assistance to teams serving children with deaf-blindness. Presently I am working as a Project Specialist for the National Center on Deaf-Blindness for Early Identification/Referral and Family Engagement.
Peggy Malloy Special Advisor & NCDB Liaison Email Peggy
I started my professional life as a registered nurse working in pediatrics and neonatal intensive care. I later changed careers and became a librarian. I was introduced to deaf-blindness when I started working for DB-LINK, a national information center. DB-LINK ultimately became part of the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, where I still work almost 20 years later.
Betsy McGinnity Special Advisor Hilton/Perkins Program Officer Email Betsy
Nancy O’Donnell Special Advisor Email Nancy
I have worked with adults who are deaf-blind for almost 40 years. Most of those years were spent at the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) in New York. I have been a special advisor to NFADB since its inception. I currently work for the Usher Syndrome Coalition and am an adjunct professor at Molloy College on Long Island.
Sue Ritchie Administrative Assistant Email Sue
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