Meet the Staff

The NYDBC team comprises a principal investigator, project director, project coordinator, family specialist, and administrative assistant. Each key staff person has been working in the field of deaf-blindness for over a dozen years, and in some cases, for almost two decades. Each staff member person has a unique perspective on deaf-blindness.

Susanne Morgan MorrowSusanne Morgan Morrow, Project Director
Susanne Morgan Morrow is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and transition specialist. Her work has focused on creating linkages between the interpreting, deaf and deaf-blind communities through her role as the chairperson to various national organizations and committees. Previously, as a transition specialist with the national deaf-blind project, she addressed topics such as self-determination, advocacy, and transition planning for young adults who are deaf-blind.

Email: susanne.morrow@qc.cuny.edu   Phone: 718-997-4854
Christopher RussellChristopher Russell, Project Coordinator
Chris has worked as a classroom teacher for children with severe and multiple disabilities, blindness and visual impairment, and combined vision and hearing loss. He is certified as a Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired (TVI), and holds dual certification in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education with an annotation in Severe and Multiple Disabilities including Deaf-Blindness. He has also been a Helen Keller Fellow, and brings to the project a passion for promoting best practices in educational and communication approaches for students with dual sensory impairments.

Email: christopher.russell@qc.cuny.edu    Phone: 718-997-4853
Silvia Verga Silvia Verga, Family Engagement Coordinator
Silvia is the parent of a child with autism, and has worked with Parent to Parent of NYS (a statewide Parent Training and Information Center), with YAI as a bilingual behavior specialist working with children with developmental disabilities, and as Executive Director of NYC Parents of Children with Autism. She has worked collaboratively with Family to Family Health Centers throughout the country, and is an active member of the National Deaf-Blind Family Specialist Mastermind Group. Silvia is dedicated to supporting increased student and parent advocacy for families across NY. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

 

Suzanne ChenSuzanne Chen, Outreach Coordinator
Suzanne is the parent of a child who is deaf-blind from CHARGE Syndrome. Through her family experience she has advocated for her son and has been a part of the special needs community for over 5 years. She currently is on the Board of Directors for the New York Parent Association for Deaf-Blind, and is the CHARGE Syndrome Support Facilitator. She oversees and coordinates a monthly conference call where parents “meet” on the phone to share experiences, support, and services. She is also on the Family Advisory Council for the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and works one day a week as a Family Mentoring Partner. Suzanne is an Ambassador Mom with the March of Dimes. She has always believed that knowledge is power, and advocacy instills change.

 

Email: suzanne.chen@qc.cuny.edu    Phone: 718-570-0448
Eneida LambertyEneida Lamberty, Project Assistant
The latest team member to join the deaf-blind field, Eneida Lamberty assists the project staff in outreach and internal organization. Lamberty is bilingual, and her Spanish language skills are extremely helpful in communicating with many of our families throughout the state.

 

Email: NYDBC@qc.cuny.edu   Phone: 718-997-4856
Patricia RachalPatricia Rachal, Principal Investigator
Patricia Rachal has provided consultation in over 25 states throughout the country on interagency collaboration, team-building, effective communication skills, systems-change strategies, and transition planning for young adults who are deaf-blind. She has served as a consultant to two national deaf-blind technical assistance grants and to Helen Keller National Center. She has published on topics in deaf-blindness throughout her tenure of more than 20 years in the field.

 

Email: patricia.rachal@qc.cuny.edu   Phone: 718-997-5470

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