Members & Organizations
Denise Avant | National Federation of the Blind - Illinois
Angela Botz | Illinois Association of the Deaf
Angela is the President of the Illinois Association of the Deaf and an active member of National Association of the Deaf. She stresses the IAD mission to ensure that we bring greater access and equality to deaf and hard of hearing Illinoisans.
Jane Breen | Illinois School of Visually Impaired, Administration
Jane is the Director of Support Services at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. Thirty One years experience in the field of Special Education includes twenty years of experience in education and administration at ISVI.
Marcia Breese | Illinois School of the Deaf, Parent
Marcia is the parent of two Deaf adults with hearing and vision loss, who attended the Illinois School for the Deaf. Marcia has worked with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing for more than 25 years, and has been the Outreach Coordinator for the Illinois School for the Deaf for the past seven years.
Ray Cambell | Illinois Council for the Blind
Ray is completing his second consecutive term as President of the Illinois Council of the Blind. He also serves on the board for the American Council of the Blind and chair a task force on special education for that organization. He worked for almost six years in the Adaptive Technology Center at the Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. He also has 15-1/2 years experience as a software engineer for a major telecommunications concern.
Tina Childress | Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, Chair
Tina is an educational audiologist in the mainstream and residential school setting, a late-deafened adult, a bilateral cochlear implant recipient, fluent in ASL and a technogeek. She is active both professionally and personally in advocacy groups, advisory boards and committees on a local and national level and is currently Chairperson of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission.
Jim Danielson | Communications Consultant
Jim Danielson, Danielson & Co -- communication consulting, writing/editing, and training. Advocate for deaf and hard of hearing children/adolescents
Elizabeth Gastelum | Office of the Lt. Governor
Elizabeth Gastelum works as an attorney in the Office of the Lt. Governor. She has a dual undergraduate degree in Elementary Education (1 -6) and Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (K-12) and received her law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Patti Gregory-Chang | National Federation of the Blind - Illinois
Patti Gregory-Chang serves as president of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and on the national board of NFB. She is a senior counsel with the City of Chicago Law Department Building and License Enforcement Division in her paying job.
Shelle Hamer | Illinois Supervisors of Programs for Visually Impaired Individuals
Shelle holds Master ’s degrees in Special Education and Educational Leadership and has worked with students with visual impairments, along with all areas of exceptionality, for over 33 years. She currently (26 years) works for NSSEO as the Diagnostic and Educational Services Coordinator (DESC) while serving as chair for the IVLC (Illinois Vision Leadership Council) and is a member of the IABDB (Illinois Advisory Board for Deaf-Blind Individuals) Board.
Fara Harper | Teacher of Deaf Children
Fara comes from a Deaf family, graduated from a mainstream program and obtained a masters degree in Deaf Education: Elementary from Gallaudet University. She has been teaching at ISD for seven years now and is one of eight teachers who is National Board certified.
Marybeth Lauderdale | Illinois School of Deaf/Illinois School of Visually Impaired, Superintendent
Marybeth, is the Superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. She has degrees and Illinois Certificates in Deaf Education, Elementary Education, School Supervision/Instruction, Change Leadership, and Superintendency.
John Little | Illinois Federation of Teachers
John is a Field Service Director with the Illinois Federation of Teachers. In that capacity, he provides advice and assistance to the officers and members of a number of IFT locals, including IFT Local 919, which represents the educators at the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Illinois.
John Miller | Office of the Governor
John brings to the Commission many years of knowledge and experience advocating for individuals with a hearing loss in both the public sector and state government.
Marjorie Olson | Department of Human Services
Marjorie is a former educator and current educator liaison with the IL Dept of Human Services, Div of Rehabilitation Services.
Randy Shearburn | Illinois School of the Deaf, Administration
Randy is a 28 year employee of ISD. He has worked in several capacities at ISD, almost all as an administrator. He is currently the Director of Student Life at ISD.
Kristine A Smith | Illinois Department of Human Services
Kristine is the Acting Director, Dept. of Human Services- Division of Rehabilitation Services (DHS/DRS). Kris has a BS in Education (Deaf and Hard of Hearing) and has worked for over 25 years at the Division of Rehabilitation Services, starting as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and has held many Administrative positions within the Division.
Becki Streit | Illinois Supervisors of Programs for Hard of Hearing/Deaf Individuals
Becki is the Executive Director of the LICA Cooperative, which serves children who are deaf or hard of hearing in the north and northwest Chicago suburbs. She is also President of the group for Illinois supervisors of programs for students who are deaf/hard of hearing.
Dan Thompson | Teacher of Visually Impaired Children
Dan is an ISVI Alumni with thirty years of teaching experience. Recently retired Assistive Technology Educator from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.
Howard J. Thomas | Blind Adults
Howard is visually impaired and a graduate of ISVI in 1972. He is on the ISVI Alumni Association Board of directors as past President. He was President for ten years. He was on the ISVI Advisory Council for the past two years. He was employed for about twenty years as an electronics technician repairing medical electronics at a local hospital in Springfield. He is now retired.
Janice Thomas | Blind Adults
Janice is an active member of the ISVI Alumni Association, and a 1970 graduate. She retired from the state of Illinois, DHS, as a computer programmer analyst after 25 years. She is also a member of the Illinois Council of the Blind and serves on the board of directors of the Mary Bryant Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Springfield, IL. She has two adult sons who are not disabled.
Margaret Vaughn | ISD/ISVI Parent + Alumni Organizations
Since 1993, Margaret Vaughn has owned her own lobbying firm and worked for the successful passage of over 90 laws. Prior to lobbying she served on the House and Senate staffs. For the past several years she has been a strong advocate in the General Assembly for the Alumni and Parent Organizations for both ISD and ISVI. This past session she worked for the passage of SB 170, which streamlined the hiring process at ISD/ISVI and also will give the superintendents more autonomy by having them appointed directly by the Governor. This fall she coordinated a legislative tour of both schools, which will be attended by legislators from all four caucuses.
Representative Jim Watson | Illinois House
Representative Watson has served in the General Assembly since 2001. His background includes teaching at both high school and college levels, business and two tours of duty with the Marine Corps in the Middle East.
Members & Organizations