Angela Roth is President/CEO and founder of American Sign Language Services Enterprises, parent company over multi-unit companies, including American Sign Language Services Inc (HQ Kissimmee, Florida), ASL Services Latino de Puerto Rico, and GlobalVRS. All three companies are at the national and international leading edge in multicultural, multilingual sign language services and interpreter development, with focus on ASL, English, and Spanish. The DICAPTA project with the Department of Education is a natural area of mutual support and synergy in addressing services to the Deaf and Deaf-blind communities. Angela enjoys reading, art, traveling, and dancing!
For the last 17 years Carlos Martinez has worked with the Blind Children’s Center as a Mentor Parent and for the last 4 years as a Parents Group Coordinator. Among his responsibilities is providing resources and support parent-parent, all this based on previous training. Lately he has been involved with Dicapta’s project as he is convinced that it is one more tool to help to improve the quality of life, and provide support and resources to children with disabilities and their families. He enjoys listening to music, learning to dance, and learning more about computers.
Clara Berg is the parent of a young man with hearing and vision loss. She is co-founder and active in the Board of the NYPADB, and co-founder and President of NFADB since 2013. She is leader on student and family advocacy, and Person Centered Planning. As a multi-linguist (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Yiddish), Clara has created strong linkages between families across linguistic and cultural barriers. She sees Dicapta as a fantastic source of information for Hispanic families, and as a provider of accessible educational material. Her favorite hobbies are swimming, walking by the ocean, gardening, reading, receiving visitors, and cooking. Lately her favorite hobby is to babysit her 18-month old grandson.
Dean Lerman is a Journalist Social Communicator, has a Master’s degree in Political Studies, and a Diploma in University Teaching. He was a Director of the Instituto Nacional para Ciegos (INCI) in Colombia. Dean has advised the Colombian government on preparing legislation about rights for people with disabilities. He was part of the group that organized the U.N. Human Rights Convention for People with Disabilities, approved in 2006. Currently, he is the Human Rights Secretary for the Union Latinoamericana de Ciegos (ULAC). He advises Dicapta on quality control processes. He loves music, reading, soccer, movies, photography, and cooking. See full profile.
A thirty-year veteran of public broadcasting, Ileana Rivera works daily with 43 Latino-controlled stations located in Puerto Rico and 14 states. She is the Director of the Latino Public Radio Consortium (LPRC) Latino Desk at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB). Previously, Ileana was the Vice-President of Development and Educational Services of public television Sistema TV, Canal Universitario Ana G. Mendez, WMTJ, and WQTO TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was also Director of Planning and Development for the Puerto Rico Public Broadcasting Corporation. See full profile.
Dr. Jaclyn Packer is a strong advocate for access for people with disabilities, and has been involved with research on video description for twenty years. She is the author of the seminal book on video description "Who's Watching? A Profile of the Blind and Visually Impaired Audience for Television and Video". As a Social Psychologist, she has worked in the fields of maternal and infant health, HIV, and disability. In her free time she takes every opportunity she can to enjoy all the great cultural and social opportunities New York City has to offer.
Dr. Juanita Rodríguez has degrees in Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling. She holds a Master’s degree in Deaf Students Education and Rehabilitation from New York University and a PhD in Curriculum and Deaf Education Teaching from Pennsylvania State University. She was Dean of the Education Department at the UPR-Rio Piedras from 2010 to 2014. She is co-coordinator of technical assistance services to parents, teachers and other service providers for deaf-blind students in Puerto Rico, under the direction of the NCDB. With Dicapta’s support, she researches the benefit of using captions and video description on the reading skills of deaf and blind students. Her hobbies are reading, traveling, and learning about other cultures.
Judy Mathews is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) at Lighthouse Central Florida. She has a Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy and a Master's degree in Visual Disabilities. She has been a member of Dicapta's Consumer Advisory Group since 2006 and is passionate about meeting the needs of adults and children with sight impairments. Judy is proud of her Cuban-American heritage. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, listening to and making music, playing cards and board games, origami, dining out, exploring new places, and navigating life with her husband Casey and guide dog Keats by her side.
Maria Teresa Velasco
María Teresa Velasco is the Education and Inter Institutional Relations Manager for Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic. She is responsible for developing and putting in place initiatives and strategies to bring the project Discovery en la Escuela to the educational sphere across Latin America. She has been a university teacher in Mexico City and Miami. María Teresa is from Mexico City, where she studied English Language and Literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She also studied at Cambridge University, England, and did post-graduate studies on Education at the Florida State University. She loves animals.
María Victoria Diaz
María Victoria Diaz is a founding owner of Dicapta and has more than 20 years experience in the television industry. As a researcher and developer of video description in Spanish, she is the pioneer of this service in Latin America. She is our project’s director and a member of the Board of Directors of the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), the National Association for the Deaf, and the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). She holds a Master's degree in Entertainment Business, a Master's in Project Management, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. She is also a flutist. She likes singing and swimming and loves what she does for a living. She has 2 beautiful daughters.
Myrna Medina has served as California Deaf Blind Services (CDBS) Family Specialist since 2000, supporting families who have a child who is deaf-blind. She is the parent of two children, one of whom was deaf-blind. Myrna is a native of Mexico and is fluent in English and Spanish. She serves as the coordinator of the CDBS Network of Family Support Providers and is currently serving her second term as Secretary of the Coalition of Parents and Educators Deaf-Blind (COPE-DB), the statewide family organization that serves on behalf of children who are deaf-blind. See full profile.
Ricardo López works as an Information Media Specialist at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf/Gallaudet University. Born deaf, he is native of Puerto Rico and is fluent in English, Spanish, American Sign Language (ASL), and Puerto Rican Sign Language. He holds a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, and a second Master’s in School Library Media. His interest in this project is due to the growing demand for information access and he wants to promote literacy in Latino Deaf and Hard of Hearing K-12 students and their families. His favorite hobbies include hiking, snorkeling, acting, and snowshoeing.
Susan LaVenture is Executive Director of the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI). For over 20 years, she has been a leader in the development of nonprofit parents’ organizations and programs that provide and promote support, education, and advocacy for families throughout the world. She represents the World Blind Union, serving on the Committee on Children with Disabilities of the Unicef’s Non-Governmental Organizations Committee.
Jo Ann McCann
Jo Ann McCann has been an Education Program Specialist with the U.S. Department of Education for more than 25 years and has led the development and support of both captioning and video description. She is the Project Officer for the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness, the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), and several State Deaf-Blind projects. Jo Ann, whose parents are deaf, has served as Vice President of Children of Deaf Adults International (CODA) and in 2010 was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by CODA. She holds a Master’s Degree from Coppin State University, a HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and has five active grandchildren ages 9 to 14.