NJRID Biennial Conference

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Christina Stevens is the current RID board Region 1 Representative.  She is a graduate of the The Theater School at DePaul University, her work with the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) provided the impetus for her move to Connecticut, where she has served as the CRID president before joining the RID Board.

Christina is also a graduate of the ASL-English Interpretation program at Columbia College of Chicago, Illinois.  In her time in Connecticut, she has had the honor of serving as a governor-appointed member of the Advisory Board for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and is a designated lead interpreter for the Connecticut Robotics Chapter for K-12 students (FIRST). Additionally, she and her husband were married a few months before the pandemic lockdown on an All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Wrestling cruise.



Image description: Tara Lynn is wearing a blue beanie, grey short-sleeve shirt and black vest. She is smiling and signing "touch" with one hand on her chest and the other hand facing out. 

DeafBlind Humanitarian

Darkness does not cease my ability to grow in different endeavors toward human services serving the unserved.

     Born in NJ and raised by Deaf parents and mainstreamed in public schools all her life, Tara Invidiato is an aspiring individual with combined hearing and vision loss. She pushed forward to learn Braille and communicate virtually using a Braille display. Highly invested in the Interpreting Program and an Anthropologist graduate from Bloomsburg  University with a Masters in Education from Concordia University of Portland. Tara has pursued her career as Director of Pennsylvania DB Service and professorship teaching the art of ASL, Deaf Blind trends, Tactile methods,  enhancing training towards interpreters, SSPS, Families of DB members, and the general public. 

     Her motto is: "One small step for DeafBlind, one huge leap for the DeafBlind community".  




Image Description: Daniel Israilov, a man with short, dark hair and a dark beard, is wearing round glasses and a dark button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He is gesturing a heart.

       He notices every single thing. His eyes capture the smallest details, and he learns to imitate with his own art. This is where Visual Vernacular comes in, for him
       Born in Kazakhstan, then moved to Israel at the age of nine.  At dinner tables, he’d impersonate family members, cracking up jokes, and telling stories. At twenty-four, there were more platforms to express his art, and he did just that on his social media.  The storytelling led him to his wife, whom he married in New York City.  
       The city that watered his artistic seeds. As he learned American Sign Language (ASL), he learned what he has been doing all along is called Visual Vernacular (VV). He continued to immerse himself in telling stories in VV and doing stand up comedy. He was rich in knowledge: knowing four languages and understanding several cultures - it was time for him to deliver.
       A year later,  he performed at colleges, non-profit organizations, and poetry clubs with his VV stories. He competed at ASL Elements with various talented VV artists.  He taught ASL at the Sign Language Center, teaching students how to navigate the language.
       With the modality of his fingers, his facial expressions and his body movements, he could tell endless stories.  




     Mary Elizabeth Sheehan, who goes by Marybeth, grew up in Wall Township, but now she and her 20 year-old-daughter live in Spring Lake. Her daughter is currently studying at The University of Scranton, and while Marybeth misses her so much, she devotes her spare time to her love for painting. A little about Marybeth is that she graduated from Camden County College in 1994 with an associate degree in fine arts. Before becoming a mother, she worked at both Ladacin and Neptune Middle School’s deaf program as a paraprofessional. Years later, she went back and was an assistant art teacher, as well as an American Sign Language teacher at Holy Innocents Elementary School. Since she was a young girl, she has had such a love for painting and would love to share that with you! If you are interested in scheduling a “sip and paint” party of your own, you may contact her via text at 732-320-3386.


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