Linda Drattell, BSW, MBA, founder and president of beadhh, has been actively involved with both the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, through her work as Community Relations Director for Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency (DCARA), a past national president and board member of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), DCARA’s Hard of Hearing Support Specialist, and a member of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Accessibility Task Force as an advocate in obtaining communication access in BART trains and stations. She was one of two individual plaintiffs in the successful settlement with Cinemark Theaters for movie captioning. She was also the liaison for ALDA as organizational plaintiff in its successful settlements with Cinemark and AMC Theaters for movie captioning. She has successfully chaired local events and a conference with national participation. She has received ALDA’s I. King Jordan Award, Hearing Loss Association of California’s Outstanding Service Award, and DCARA’s Employee of the Year Award. She also received a Certificate of Recognition from BART’s Chief of Police for her work preparing training materials for BART police. She is a member of the San Francisco Deaf Club.
Nancy Eddy, Secretary, has been involved with the deaf special needs community since her daughter was born 28 years ago. She worked in family resource centers for a number of years advocating for services for all disabled children and adults with a concentration on supporting families with children who were deaf. She has been involved on numerous committees as an advocate, including the RCEB Deaf Task Force, Vendor Advisory Council, Protection & Advocacy Inc., Alameda County Developmental Disabilities Council, East Bay Legislative Committee, California Department of Education Task Force, Mission Jan Jose High School School Site Council, California School for the Deaf Community Advisory Council, and APTC, Marin County Special Education Advisory Council. She served as president and board member of IMPACT, a statewide group of parents of deaf and hard of hearing children, and president and board member of New Perspectives. She has strongly supported those who are deaf and have special needs both within the school and outside advocating for language access for all. In 2013, Nancy opened Deaf Plus Adult Community to provide a day program for adults who are deaf or deaf/blind and have developmental delays. She advocates for communication access in these individuals’ home situations as many live in group homes with no sign language available to them. She also advocates for accessible training for her staff.
Agustín Esposito-Vigil, MA is Principal Disability Analyst at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He previously worked at Disability Rights California and San Francisco State University. During his undergraduate studies, he was a religious studies major with a focus on Islam at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his MA in International Development focusing on People with Disabilities at Gallaudet University. During his studies, Austin worked with various disability and Deaf organizations in Armenia and Egypt. Before working at DRC, Austin lived in Panama researching the rights of Deaf/HOH individuals in the educational sector. Austin has been involved with the Deaf community from a very young age and has taken particular interest in Deaf/HOH accessibility through language and education. While at DRC, Austin has worked on issues such as accessibility, discrimination, and language access related to Deaf/HOH individuals.
Elizabeth Grigsby, Treasurer, is a certified Enrolled Agent for tax preparation. She is presently president of three local organizations: Bay Area Coalition of Deaf Senior Citizens (BACDSC), Pacific Coast Deaf Women’s Bowling Association (PCDWBA), and Silicon Valley Club of the Deaf (SVCD). She is also president of San Jose’s Deaf School Reunion. Liz also serves as Treasurer for two other organizations: Northern California Deaf Campers (NCDC), and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Alumni Association of Northern California. She is also a board member of the Deaf Senior Retirement Corporation (DSRC). She has been previously a San Francisco Deaf Club (SFDC)trustee and a Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Alumni Association Board Director.
[photo of Mandy Partlow will be posted soon]
Mandy Partlow has been involved in the Deaf community for the past 15 years and has been working as a sign language interpreter for the past five years. Her previous occupations include working with special needs children and children with emotional disturbances. She has also been a strong advocate and ally for her own son, who is on the autism spectrum, for the past 16 years. She holds a degree in English literature, with an emphasis on women’s studies and ethnic studies and has served on the board for Northern California Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NORCRID).
Julie Rems-Smario, MA is an educator actively involved with Early Intervention where she can further her goal to preserve, protect and promote ASL for all Deaf children as a basic human right. For the work she has done to push for Deaf babies’ rights, she was honored by DeafLife as the Deaf Person of the Year in 2014. During her tenure as the founding executive director of DeafHope, Julie was nationally recognized with several awards such as CNN Heroes, Pearls Award, and E-Women Network International Humanitarian Award. She still works on contractual basis creating public service announcements (PSA) to educate the community about domestic and sexual violence in the Deaf community. Currently she is activity advocating for language equality, ASL and English, as a basic human right for all Deaf children. As one of the co-founders of Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), she is involved in the legislative campaign to establish mandated language benchmarks for all Deaf children between the ages of 0 to 5, to academically prepare them for Kindergarten in California.
Michelle Yook, MSW, is Advocate and Hard-of-Hearing/Late Deafened Specialist for Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA) . She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Studio with a minor in Psychology from UC Davis in 2002 and a Master of Social Work degree from San Francisco State University in 2009. Michelle was born severely hard of hearing and wore hearing aids in both ears by the age of seven. Her family moved from Seoul, South Korea to the United States for her education in 1992. In 2009, she volunteered for Deaf Media and the Hearing Dog Program. After graduating from the MSW program she worked as community integration instructor at Toolworks for six years where she enjoyed teaching Deaf clients how to create artwork, as she has a strong interest in drawing, painting and printmaking. After meeting people from different walks of life, she appreciates diversity and communication and language access. She currently resides in San Leandro.