Deaf Services Coordinator
Everybody Counts Northwest CIL
(Currently On Hiatus)
“Our basic principal is that every person with a disability is
of living independently and as equally as everyone else. Denial of
is denying the human right of survival…being who you are, achieving
with accommodations, speaking your mind and educating the public
about working with disabilities, allowing room for mistakes
and protesting when justice is not there.”
Joanna graduated from Indiana University Northwest
with a B.A. in General Studies in 2005. Currently, she is
pursuing her Master’s Degree through a Gaulladet program
while teaching sign language at a high school in LaPorte,
but she is still available to us on an ‘on call’ basis.
For many years, Joanna was our Deaf Services Coordinator.
In that capacity, she not only worked directly with deaf consumers,
she also developed and provided community resources such as
ASL classes, workshops for interpreters, training for parents
and other deaf-oriented workshops and activities.
She originally joined the staff as a Counselor/Advocate. Before that,
her employment experience included work at the Westchester and Gallaudet
University libraries, day camp counselor at the Duneland Y,
a printing bindery and medical microfilming company.
In addition to working directly with deaf consumers
on their Issues or goals, she provided support to other organizations
dedicated to providing, maintaining and advocating the independence
and awareness of deaf culture, ASL and community.
Joanna also initiated several special projects, such as the Eye on Fire
Safety Project, Signing Kids of NWI and the ‘All for One’
conference for deaf consumers and interpreters.
“I enjoy meeting with people, brainstorming, seeing things
sharing frustration with others and finding different perspectives
as to how we can work together to educate and improve our
communities and bring ‘new life’ to the people.”
She is a member of Northwest Indiana Deaf Club, the Indiana
Association of the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf, Signing Kids
of NWI and ADAPT Indiana. She is also working with colleagues
to establish an interpreting agency for deaf people run by deaf people.
She and her husband Don live in Merrillville with their two children,
Genevieve, and several furry friends.