Sign Language Advisory Board
The Signing Savvy Sign Language Advisory Board advises Signing Savvy on sign language matters and provides guidance to help Signing Savvy accomplish the company's mission and goals.
The growing Sign Language Advisory Board is made up of thought leaders who have a deep subject manner expertise in sign language and are leaders in their respective fields. Our goal is to have a diverse advisory board with various backgrounds and experience to provide a wide range of advice and expertise. The current advisory board members include:
Donalda Ammons, born to all deaf family and raised in Washington D.C., is Professor Emerita at Gallaudet University. She has a doctorate in higher education/foreign language education and taught for 31 years at Gallaudet. She continues to contribute as an author of numerous articles on Deaf culture and sports, published in various professional journals and books. Dr. Ammons has traveled to present papers and conduct workshops relating to human rights for deaf people, deaf sports, and political and educational leadership.
Across 20 years and several states, Suellen Bahleda became certified, interpreted, taught entry-level as well as advanced ASL and interpreting classes, and presented workshops. Now she is a pastor for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is the author of several American Sign Language books. She has also been a member of the Signing Savvy Advisory Board since 2015.
Marta Belsky is Deaf and a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for over 30 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users.
Brenda Cartwright (BC) is a Coda, a seasoned ASL interpreter, a master teacher and a well known author.
Fr. Michael Depcik, OSFS
Fr. Michael Depcik, OSFS, a native of Chicago, is currently ministering to deaf Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He is among fewer than a handful of culturally Deaf priests worldwide. In 2008, he established a vlog website called Fr. MD’s Kitchen Table at www.frmd.org. Fr. Depcik enjoys traveling around the country to give retreats.
Leslie Elion was born to hearing parents in New York. After receiving her B.A. from Hamilton College, she served in the Peace Corps in a Deaf Rehabilitation Program based in the Philippines and taught in both ASL and Filipino Sign Language in a one-room classroom with 25 deaf students aged 7 to 18. After returning stateside, she got her J.D. from California Western School of Law and was appointed to represent the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) as co-chair of the joint NAD-RID National Council on Interpreting Ethics Review Committee. The committee took four years to revise and expand the individual NAD and RID codes of ethics into the Code of Professional Conduct, which promotes ethical standards for certified American Sign Language interpreters.
Darren was born into a deaf family and raised in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. His career includes a wide variety of positions in the field of Education. He has taught primary, junior, middle and high school grades. Currently, he is a pre-school teacher running a Home Visitation Program with the Provincial Schools Branch (identical to Early Intervention programs in the U.S.).
Mary Klein graduated from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, NY. She was an adjunct faculty member in the Lansing Community College Interpreter Training Program for 37 years. In her free time she enjoys painting, woodwork, gardening and spending time with her family. (Photo: Drawing of Mary Klein by Mandy Mann)
Diane Dyer Morton, hearing of Deaf parents, has been using American Sign Language on a daily basis for over 50 years in various settings within the Deaf community. She was a School Psychologist and Administrator at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, and later a full professor in the Counseling Department at Gallaudet University. Certified by RID in 1980, she has also served as an interpreter in local, national and international settings.
R. Ben Roux
R. Ben Roux has a background in advocacy, Information Technology and software development. He is the Advisory Board Chairman of the City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Ben is committed to advocacy and service to others, especially the deaf, hard of hearing and people with disabilities. These initiatives are particularly meaningful to Ben as he is profoundly deaf.