Tabitha Belhorn has a bachelor of arts from Heidelberg University, where she studied psychology and vocal performance. She has three children, the oldest of whom is deaf. Belhorn is currently the executive director of Ohio Hands & Voices and has worked with families of children who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf plus, or deaf-blind for over 10 years. She has been a member of the State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children and is currently serving as the co-chair for the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Subcommittee.
I have served individuals with disabilities in residential and school settings. After working in group homes and supported living apartments for 12 years, I went back to college to become a special education teacher. During the past 18 years, I have taught students with multiple disabilities and served as a special education director, and a consultant for the State Support Team, Region 11 where I specialized in post-secondary transition and career-technical education. I currently serve as a secondary special education coordinator with Groveport Madison Local Schools and live in Circleville where I love to read, garden, and spend time with my family and new grandchild.
Rachel Bigham, M.Ed, TVI, COMS, serves Zanesville City Schools in southeastern Ohio. Rachel also currently serves as the Program Manager and Adjunct Faculty for The Ohio State University Program in Orientation and Mobility. Rachel also serves as a contract service provider through OOD. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio University and her Master’s in Visual Impairments Education from The Ohio State University with a focus on CVI. Rachel has served across age settings and seeks to provide valuable information and ideas into all areas of visual impairment services. Rachel has given many presentations, including the 2018 and 2019 OCALIcon conferences, and has published several articles and book reviews.
In her personal life, Rachel is a wife, mother of two, an avid reader, and active member of her church.
Ray Blevins, M.Ed., is a Special Education Consultant with the State Support Team Region 15. His primary responsibilities include providing support and resources to districts and parents regarding Post-Secondary Transition and topics related to the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Prior to joining the State Support Team, Ray served in various leadership roles serving students with disabilities in public and private schools. As a parent of a student with a disability, Ray is committed to ensuring that all students have equal and appropriate educational opportunities.
Sarah Buoni, M.Ed., is an Education Program Specialist with the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children. Her primary responsibilities include providing support and resources to districts and parents in regards to low incidence disabilities. Prior to joining the Ohio Department of Education, Sarah worked as a supervisor and an itinerant teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind for nine years. She is committed to ensuring that all students have equal educational opportunities.
Rachael Cartee has a Bachelor of Science in Education, where she studied Early Childhood Education and Special Education along with Manual Communication, Family Development, and Parent and Family Education. She is currently studying at The Ohio State University and Shawnee State University as part of the Teachers of the Deaf consortium program. She has worked with The Starkey Hearing Foundation providing hearing aids and education to the people of El Salvador. Rachael is currently an Itinerant Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Southern Ohio ESC Region 14.
Erica Chambers is a licensed Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education with a focus in Mild/Moderate Disabilities and Visual Impairments in 2004 from The University of Toledo. She then returned to UT and completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2009.
Erica is the Special Education Coordinator for the Visual Impairment Program in Columbus City Schools. She has been a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments in Columbus City Schools since 2005. She taught for 8 years as a TVI in a middle school resource room and then spent 2 years as an itinerant TVI. This is her 4th year as coordinator of the Visual Impairment Program. As program coordinator, Erica works closely with staff, students and families to ensure students are receiving the supports and services needed in order for the students to experience success in school and life.
Shannon Clancy recently completed her doctoral studies at The Ohio State University, earning her PhD in Teaching and Learning. Shannon's research is focused on the language and learning of children who are deaf, particularly in content areas with specialized language, such as science and mathematics. She was an elementary school teacher of deaf students for ten years, has given multiple workshop presentations on the use of content-area and specialized vocabulary for educational interpreters, and currently works as a sign language interpreter.
Bobbi A. Colatruglio, CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Prior to joining Nationwide Children's in 2015, Bobbi was a speech language pathologist at the Ohio School for the Deaf. She worked there for five years, providing evaluations, intervention and collaboration for the preschool and elementary. Bobbi also served on the multi-factored evaluation team in the Ohio School for the Deaf Outreach Department, providing evaluations for deaf and hard of hearing students across the state of Ohio. Bobbi is fluent in American Sign Language. She has completed the FIRST YEARS program through the University of North Carolina in order to receive a Certificate in Auditory Learning in Young Children with Hearing Loss.
Carrie Davenport, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She earned her doctorate in special education at OSU in 2017. She is a trained teacher of the deaf with an Ed.S. in Change Leadership and a Master's degree in Family-Centered Early Education from Gallaudet University. Prior to entering the PhD program at OSU, she was the Early Childhood Consultant for the Center for Outreach Services at the Ohio School for the Deaf. Carrie is a founding Board member of Ohio Hands & Voices. She currently serves on the steering committee for Children’s Hearing Language and Development Resource Network (CHLDRN) of Ohio.
Nathan DeDino joined the Ohio Department of Health in July of 2011 as a Researcher in the then- Bureau of Early Intervention Services, after working for a number of years in the Defense intelligence industry. As a Researcher at ODH, he worked primarily with the data system. In November of 2013, he became the Research and Data Administrator and began supervising the research team responsible for data needs for the Help Me Grow and Regional Infant Hearing programs. In December of 2014, he took on responsibility for Early Intervention monitoring and, in April of 2015, he became the Part C coordinator.
Nathan obtained his bachelor of arts from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He also holds a law degree, with honors, from the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University.
Dr. Danene Fast is an Assistant Professor – Clinical and Faculty Lead for the Program in Visual Impairment at The Ohio State University. Her background includes a dual undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Special Education for Children with Visual Impairments from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts Degree in Orientation and Mobility (O&M) from Western Michigan University. After almost 20 years of teaching, Dr. Fast was awarded a prestigious doctoral fellowship with the National Leadership Consortium for Sensory Disabilities (NLCSD) to pursue her doctoral degree from The Ohio State University. She completed her PhD in August of 2018, after successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “Bus Drivers, Customers, & Canes: Exploring Accessibility to Public Transportation for Travelers with Vision Loss.”
She also is a Past-President of the Ohio Chapter of AER, member of the inaugural American Printing House (APH) Press advisory board, co-advisor for the newly formed Braille Buckeyes student group at OSU, and is on the national committee for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), DVIDB visual impairment licensure standards for teacher preparation programs. Dr. Fast’s research focuses on accessibility for individuals with visual impairments. Dr. Fast has published and presented on topics relating to accessibility at local, national, and international venues.
Lynne joined the Ohio Center for Deafblind Education in April of 2016 after serving as a supervisor and director of special education for twenty-six years and preschool coordinator for three years. During her career in special education, she was responsible for providing educational services to students with disabilities, including those with vision and hearing loss. At OCDBE Lynne supports Tier I dissemination and outreach efforts and provides consultation and technical assistance to families of children with combined hearing-vision loss. She coordinates the annual parent retreat and works in collaboration with the project’s deafblind education consultant to plan and deliver training and professional development to families, school district and agency personnel, and others.
Brynn Hoffman is the Special Education Director at Westfall Local Schools in Pickaway County. Her primary responsibilities are providing the best services for students with a wide range of disabilities, empowering intervention specialists and paraprofessionals, and supporting best practices in the district. She was previously the Special Education & Curriculum Director at Amanda-Clearcreek and an ED Intervention Specialist through the Fairfield County ESC. Brynn holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ohio University and a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership through the University of Dayton. Brynn serves on Ohio University's Society of Alumni for Teacher Education's Board of Directors.
K. Todd Houston, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, is a Professor, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), and a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist (Cert. AVT). He is currently a member of the faculty in the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Akron (Akron, OH) and also serves as an SLP and LSLS Cert. AVT for the Cochlear Implant Program at Akron Children’s Hospital.
For more than 25 years, his professional focus has been serving young children with hearing loss and their families who are learning to listen and acquire spoken language as well as providing aural rehabilitation to adults with hearing loss. For the past fifteen years, Dr. Houston has incorporated telepractice into his service delivery and continues to provide direct services each week, both in-person and through telepractice, to young children with hearing loss and their families.
Since 2003, Lauri Kaplan has shared her unique knowledge of parenting a child who is visually impaired while serving as Parent Mentor, at the Ohio State School for the Blind. Lauri is a parent of a child with different abilities; her adult son is blind and has additional medical challenges. Ms. Kaplan guides other Ohio parents of students who are visually impaired through the special education process, helping them to understand their rights and responsibilities. She listens, gathers information and provides resources and support to families and school districts. Lauri attends Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, Evaluation Team Meetings (ETR) and additional meetings at the request of school districts or parents.
Lauri has served on Parent Mentor Council (2006-2008, and 2009-2011) Parent Mentor Care and Support Committee (2007-present), Family Advisory Council of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (2005-present) Braille Excellence for Students and Teachers (BEST) Advisory Board (2008-present), and The Ohio State University Sensory Advisory Board (2013-present). Since 2006, she has edited and produced a print and web edition of OSSB's quarterly newsletter, connecting families and the OSSB community. Ms. Kaplan has worked with the Center for Instructional Supports and Accessible Materials (CISAM now known as the AT&AEM Center) on various advisory boards, and they have collaborated to plan and execute an annual Assistive Technology Family Conference since 2010. She received her bachelor of fine arts from The Ohio State University.
Sarah Kelly is the Program Manager for the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired at Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. She has worked in the field of vocational rehabilitation, serving individuals with disabilities for 6 years. During that time she has served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor, and now as the Program Manager.
She is also a certified Orientation and Mobility Instructor, having obtained certification to better understand how to help her son with multiple disabilities. Sarah has a bachelor of arts in sociology, a master of arts on psychology, and a graduate certificate in orientation and mobility. She is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired.
Sarah lives in Pickaway County with her husband and twin sons.
Karen Koehler, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Shawnee State University and the Project Director and lead faculty of the TVI Consortium, an educator preparation program for teachers of students with visual impairments and certified orientation and mobility specialists. Dr. Koehler is a licensed science educator and teacher of students with visual impairments and spent over 25 years teaching science at The Ohio State School for the Blind. Her current position at Shawnee State University allows her to connect with teachers and agencies across Ohio and the nation who are engaged in the work of the education and rehabilitation of individuals with visual impairments and blindness. She is an active member of AER Ohio (AERO), a member of BEST Advisory team, and a member of the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children and the Low Incidence Committee. She is the treasurer on the board of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Visual Impairments and Deafblindness (DVIDB) and a member of the board of directors for the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES). She has presented at state, national and international conferences regarding students with visual impairments, low incidence sensory disabilities, and building collaborative educator preparation programs. Dr. Koehler has published book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on inclusive education and STEM education for students with visual impairments.
Reena Kothari, Au.D. is currently a Public Health Audiology Consultant for The Ohio Department of Health in the Infant Hearing Program. She has been in this role for sixteen years and has extensive experience with Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI). She participated in the passage of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) Legislation in 2002 and the development of legislative rules, as well as has assisted with the implementation of hearing screening in Ohio birthing hospitals. Reena currently works with Ohio birthing hospitals, children’s hospitals and local health departments for the universal newborn hearing screening program and provides training, monitoring and technical assistance. Reena is currently facilitating a quality improvement learning collaborative in Lucas county. Reena has an interest in public speaking and has had a variety speaking engagements statewide and nationally over the years. She has developed many public awareness materials in a variety of formats for the Ohio Department of Health’s Infant Hearing Program. Additionally, she was a co-author of a publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as, a co-author for the Ohio COACH protocol for the diagnostic testing after newborn hearing screening. Reena participates on a number of work groups as well. Her previous experience includes newborn hearing screening, clinical diagnostic audiology testing and dispensing hearing aid services for adults and pediatrics, as well as vestibular testing and balance re-training therapy.
Reena has a doctorate degree in audiology and is a licensed audiologist in the state of Ohio, as well as, a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (F-AAA).
Alison B. LaBarre, Ed.D. is the Director of Auxiliary Services for the Ohio State School for the Blind and the Ohio School for the Deaf. She has presented at state and national conferences on topics related to middle level education and the educational needs of the exceptional child.
Prashant Solanki Malhotra, MD, FAAP, is a surgeon in the Department of Otolaryngology and the Hearing Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Prior to joining Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Malhotra was an associate physician staff member of the Head and Neck Institute and the Pediatric Institute at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He is an instructor of ENT and Pediatric resident and fellow trainees and medical students.
Dr. Malhotra received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his residency in Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. He spent an additional year as a fellow and clinical instructor of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.
Dr. Malhotra’s academic and clinical interests primarily focus on problems relating to pediatric hearing loss and pediatric cochlear implantation, but also in all other aspects of pediatric otolaryngology and head and neck surgery. He passionately advocates for the needs of children with hearing loss at the state and national level.
Shelley McCoy is an Education Consultant at the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB). In this role, Shelley provides support and recommendations for educational resources and strategies to school-aged students who are blind or visually impaired and their education teams in school districts throughout the state of Ohio. In addition, Shelley serves as the Education Clinic Coordinator, facilitating evaluations of students throughout the state performed by the interdisciplinary team of related services professionals. At OSSB, Shelley also provides orientation and mobility instruction to a caseload of students. Previous to her role at OSSB, Shelley served for four years as an itinerant teacher of students with visual impairments and orientation and mobility specialist serving students throughout multiple regions of the state. Shelley's lifelong passion for service to persons with special needs spans the age spectrum, as evidenced by her 20+ years of work with individuals affected by dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
Shelley earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from The Ohio State University in 1994. She then attained her licensure in teaching students with visual impairments in 2008, and ACVREP certification in orientation and mobility in 2012. Shelley is currently enrolled in the graduate program at The Ohio State University in pursuit of her MA in sensory disabilities and inclusion.
Shelley has been an active member of the Association of Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and currently serves on the board, as chairperson of the education division. She has been nominated for participation in educational conferences and programs, including the Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute through the American Foundation for the Blind, and the Teachers of Tomorrow program through the National Federation of the Blind. Shelley serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Orientation and Mobility program through The Ohio State University.
Peter (Pete) Moore became the President/CEO of the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) in May of 2019. OPRA is a trade association that advocates for providers of day and residential developmental disability services across the Ohio.
Pete has 20 years of experience in working with people with developmental disabilities. He has had many roles during his career including: Activities Therapist, QMRP, and Director of Vocational Services at Tiffin Developmental Center; Director of Residential Services for the Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Behavior Support and Regional Consultant for the State of Ohio's Department of Developmental Disabilities; an independent consultant; Chief of staff for the Ohio Association of County Boards Serving People with Developmental Disabilities (OACB); and the Administrator for Mount Aloysius an Intermediate Care Facility serving people with developmental disabilities. Throughout his career, Pete has been respected for his common sense approach to work cultures and working with people with developmental disabilities. He has provided training and technical support for many different programs and professionals across the State of Ohio and across the United States.
Pete is a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh and received his Masters in Counseling from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, where he was also a football coach for 10 years. He is married to Deb and has three kids, Warren (Wojo), Rilee, and Ava.
Kim Moritz, M.Ed., is the Family and Community Engagement Consultant and a member of the Special Education Team for State Support Team 6. Prior to working for SST6, Kim taught high school and college level science for sixteen years. Kim has two children, Matthew, 16, and Emma, 13. As a result of a traumatic brain injury at the age of ten, Matthew is deafblind and non-verbal. Through Kim's personal and professional experiences, she has worked to assist the public school that Matthew attends and other districts in the region in supporting families and students with multiple disabilities. She is honored and excited to be a part of the advisory council to assist in meeting a need for the state of Ohio and to better serve families.
Karen Burk Paull, Ph.D., is a pediatric neuropsychologist working in a private practice setting in the east side suburbs of Cleveland. She completes comprehensive learning evaluations with children who are D/deaf and hard of hearing. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with a child and family subspecialty, from Loyola University Chicago in 1998. Both her masters and dissertation theses were studies of the development of deaf children and their siblings. Dr. Paull completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where half of her time was devoted to training at the Boston Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (BCDC). She remained on staff at BCDC until moving to Cleveland, where she joined the staff of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center and worked there until 2018. Dr. Paull lives in the suburbs of Cleveland, with her husband and two children. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, and spending time with family.
Dr. Megan Reister—a former hearing itinerant and special education teacher for 8 years in Delaware and Pennsylvania—was responsible for deaf education, transition services, and early intervention services prior to becoming a college professor in North Carolina. Dr. Reister—now an Ohio resident—enjoys conducting research, writing, and teaching as a Professor in the Education Department at Franciscan University of Steubenville, which is 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh. Her primary areas of research include self-advocacy and identity in students with hearing loss; itinerant teaching; and fostering collaboration among parents, general education, and special education teachers. She is passionate about working with preservice teachers to help them be the best advocates they can be for the children they will serve as they fulfill their vocations as teachers. Her other passion lies within her family of husband, Adam, 2.5 year-old daughter, Charlotte, and their two pups.
Bio Coming Soon
Shannon Seger is currently the Director of Interlink, the Deaf Services Center of Northwest Ohio. Language delay is an epidemic among the deaf and hard of hearing in elementary and secondary education in the United States. Shannon currently combats this on many fronts. First, by introducing Language Facilitators into the educational system to fill in the "gap" in language and attempt to help students meet and exceed their educational goals through mentoring. Secondly, presenting workshops and presentations to various agencies, educational institutes and newfound parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, placing an emphasis on acquiring American Sign Language along with spoken English while the children are still young and able to compete with their peers in terms of language and comprehension.
Dr. Carrie Spangler has over 17 years of experience as a professional in the field of audiology and has a lifetime of personal experience living successfully with hearing loss. Dr. Spangler is the 2012 recipient of a national award, the Cheryl DeConde-Johnson Award for Best Practices in Educational/ Pediatric Audiology. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on topics related to educational and pediatric audiology. She has publications in peer reviewed journals and has co-authored 3 chapters.
Currently employed at Summit Educational Service Center, Ohio where she provides educational audiology outreach services. Her areas of interest include educational audiology for all students with hearing loss, teens and support groups, advocacy, and humanitarian audiology. Dr. Spangler initiated the TALK (Teaching Auditory Learning in Kids) listening and spoken language preschool program in Summit County. She also created the Hit It! program (Hearing Impaired Teens Interacting Together) which is a support group for teens with hearing loss. She currently serves as a Governor appointed audiology board member for the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology. Dr. Spangler is the past chairperson and current member of the Ohio Department of Health's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening committee.
Leah Subak resides in Northeastern Ohio, Cuyahoga Falls, and lived in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. Current interpreting venues include post-secondary and Video Relay. Credentials include; MA from Gallaudet University and Ph.D. from Kent State University. Professional certifications held include CI/CT, NAD, and EIPA.
She is on staff with Kent State University as co-coordinator of interpreting services, and adjunct faculty. She has held offices in professional interpreting organizations and chaired various conferences.
Teresa Thomas is a licensed Teacher for the Visually Impaired and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ohio University in 2002. Upon graduation, Teresa entered the field of special education teaching students with multiple disabilities for four years. One of those students had a visual impairment which led her to the graduate programs for VI and O&M at the Ohio State University. Teresa has been a teacher for the visually impaired for Lancaster City Schools for 11 years and O&M specialist for 6 years. Currently, she serves on the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) for Lancaster Public Transit.
Susan Wiley is a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center within the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She has a long-standing interest in children who are D/HH Plus, and children who are Deaf-Blind through efforts in clinical care, research and advocacy. She has collaborated with the Ohio Center for Deaf-Blind Education through workshops, development of tools to guide earlier identification of children with deaf-blindness and as a member of their advisory committee. She is a member of the Leadership Team for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) at the American Academy of Pediatrics and has focused on advocacy for newborn hearing screening at a state level as the Ohio American Academy of Pediatrics Chapter Champion for EHDI and as the co-chair of the Ohio Department of Health Advisory Committee on Newborn Hearing Screening.