Welcome our Newest VRAC Members!

  • Nov 1, 2018
  • |
  • publicrelationsdept

We are pleased to welcome three new members to the Virginia Relay Advisory Council (VRAC)!

L. Karen Darner, joining as a representative for the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia (SHAV), was a speech/language pathologist and hearing clinician for Arlington Public Schools from 1971-2008. She also served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 13 years, focusing on education, social justice, the environment, and Dreamers. During her more than 30 years of civic activism, she was president of the Arlington Education Association, chaired the League of Women Voters and the Arlington Committee of 100, and as a board member and volunteer of numerous civic and nonprofit organizations. In 2009, Karen was the recipient of the Arlington Community Foundation’s Spirit of Community Award and currently sits on their Board of Trustees.

Christine Ross, our new Video Relay Service representative, is a qualified rehabilitation counselor with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). As a Deaf person, Christine is passionate about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community’s unique and various employment needs. With DARS, Christine provides a wide range of programs and services to assist clients who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

Teresa Ritzert, our new representative for Captioned Telephone Service users, had to adapt to a life with hearing loss after she began to lose her hearing in her mid-twenties. Now fully Deaf, Teresa is an advocate for individuals who experience hearing loss later in life. She has an undergraduate degree in dramatic arts and a master’s degree in legal studies. Teresa began her career as a high school drama teacher before becoming a paralegal in Washington, D.C. at top international law firms. When she moved to Virginia in 2006, she returned to her education roots as the director of education at Holy Comforter Church before she began working in the archives at the University of Virginia Law Library. She is currently training her dog as a service animal and is passionate about sharing the life-changing effects of Captioned Telephone Service with others.

We are looking forward to gaining insight and experience from our new members and thank them for joining VRAC! The Council still has an opening for an Internet Wireless Relay user. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Eric Raff at 804-404-9090 or eric.raff@vddhh.virginia.gov.

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