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2013 Award Recipients 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Dr. Roslyn “Roz” Rosen

When you look at Roz’s vitae, it is, without a doubt that she has a lifetime worth of achievements and her achievements and contributions in deaf education and the deaf community are still felt and impacted by her involvement still today.

Roz received her B.A. in Art in 1962 from Gallaudet University and her M.A. in Education of the Deaf in 1964 from Gallaudet University.  In 1980, she received her doctorate degree in Education Administration from Catholic American University.   She is currently the Director of the National Center on Deafness (NCOD) at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

Prior to becoming the Director of the National Center on Deafness (NCOD), Roz was the Executive Director for the Council of Education of the Deaf (2000-2006); International Officer for the World Federation of the Deaf (2004- 2006); and held several positions at Gallaudet University:  Vice President for Academic Affairs (1993 – 1999), Dean for the College of Continuing Education (1981 -1993),  Professor for the Department of Administration and Supervision (1981-2004), Director for the Kellogg/Gallaudet Special School of the Future (1978 – 1983), the P.L. 94-142 Coordinator for the President’s Office (1977-1978), Area Coordinator, for the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) (1975-1977), Sign Communication Instructor for Gallaudet’s Department of Education (1973-1975); and Communication Specialist at MSSD (1971 - 1975).   She has also worked as an Adult Basic Education Specialist, Sign Language Instructor and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Her professional involvement and community service at Gallaudet University, California State University, Northridge (NCOD), the National Association of the Deaf, the World Federation of the Deaf and several other organizations is extensive. Roz has also conducted research and has written articles for numerous publications (59 are listed on her vitae) with an additional 21 selected presentations listed), and that doesn’t include her keynote presentation at this year’s CAL-ED Conference!
Roz has also been honored and is the recipient of many educational and leadership awards from various organizations across the country. 

Roz is an individual who seeks to empower other deaf and hard of hearing individuals to advance in their education and involvement in the community.  She is a true leader and one that deaf community looks to for advice.

Educator of the Year

Denise Sidansky

Denise has been in the field of Deaf Education for over 25 years as well as a member of CAL-ED for numerous years.  She has taught at every grade level, K-12 and currently teaches high school students in a D/HH program at Taft High, which is a comprehensive program in Los Angeles County.  She also teaches at California State University, Northridge.  She is enthusiastic and committed to the well-being and growth of all D/HH students.

Denise has an open door policy with her students and always put their needs above everything.  They can come to her at any time for support and if she does not have the resources she spends her time finding them.  Her holistic approach shows that her mission is to teach her students, standard based academic content to become college or career ready, as well as empower them to be self-sufficient and confident D/HH adults.
This often involves staunchly advocating for the D/HH students in both the Special Day Program and those students who are in the mainstream environment at Taft High.  She maintains a professional and friendly demeanor with all of her colleagues, students, families, and service providers.  Denise has coached students for the Deaf Academic Bowl (4 years); she has been the head coach for D/HH basketball tournament (3 years) as well as hosting last year’s basketball tournament at Taft High School that brought different D/HH schools together to play basketball.  She also hosted and facilitated the Deaf Prom in 2011.

Denise’s energy is beyond comparison.  Her enthusiasm toward teaching all D/HH students knows no boundaries.  She is without a doubt, a model educator and proves it by her actions.

Educational Interpreter of the Year

Kimberly Forbes

Kim has been an Educational Interpreter for the Burbank Unified School District for the past 12 years.  Her commitment to the students, families, staff and community at large are invaluable.  Her assignments range from classroom interpreting at all levels (elementary– high school) extracurricular activities and meetings outside the classroom and administrative level meetings throughout the district to name a few.  

Kim is highly qualified in terms of certification (RID CT, NIC Advanced and EIPA) and continues to constantly seek opportunities for professional growth.   She also encourages other educational interpreters to take advantage of professional growth opportunities stating, “Our field is ever changing, as are Deaf individuals and their needs, and if we do not do everything we can to keep ourselves informed through education and networking with others in our field, we will have done a huge disservice to the Deaf community, and to ourselves.”

Kimberly enjoys being able to interpret on a daily basis for both children and adults.   When asked specifically what she enjoys about interpreting for deaf and hard of hearing students, she commented, “My greatest moment is the “PAH” moment, that moment of “ah-ha”, when a very difficult concept or idea is presented and I am able to interpret it in a way that the students immediately catch on and can fully participate in the class discussion.”  In addition to working for the Burbank Unified School District, Kim has also worked for Sorenson for the past 8 years and does freelance interpreting for the William S. Hart School District and College of the Canyons, as well as other agencies. Kim has been a CAL-ED member for several years and volunteered her time as the Interpreter Coordinator for the CAL-ED conferences in 2007 and 2013.

Parent of the Year

Edith Wysinger

Edith is the proud and blessed mother of nine year old Tony. Since Tony was first diagnosed, she has focused on learning about resources and best practices to support him in his educational and social development. As part of this, Edith joined the Board of Tri-County GLAD in 2010 to become more involved in the local Deaf community. Her involvement and dedication has offered her the opportunity to give back by becoming a Parent Mentor for Parent Links/DEAF Project in 2012.

Edith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development with an emphasis in Child Mental Health from California State University Northridge and a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. Her work experience over the last twenty years has been in the area of developmental disabilities and includes working as an Early Interventionist, Regional Center Service Coordinator and Regional Center Manager.  She currently works at Channel Islands Social Services as the Family Services Manager.

The support received from family and friends has been an integral part of her family’s journey and success in supporting Tony. She would like to thank everyone who has offered their time and encouragement. A special thank you is given to her husband-Guy and Vickie Garrison who took the time to listen and has always reminded us of the greatness within Tony.

Contributor of the Year

Maureen Wallace

Maureen Wallace graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA with high honors in the early 80’s. Following her BA, she attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with honors with a Masters in Audiology. She has worked in a variety of settings as an audiologist. She worked as a pediatric audiologist for Lompoc Hospital, and she was a clinical audiologist at the Santa Barbara Sansum Clinic. She also was a clinical supervisor and lecturer for the UCSB department of speech/hearing sciences. Currently, Maureen is an Educational Audiologist for the Santa Barbara County Education Office. She has been working as an Educational Audiologist with SBCEO for over 10 years.

Maureen understands Deafness beyond the medical standpoint. She understands the need to foster Deaf children’s native language as well as their community. She is an advocate for all of our students, no matter the degree of their hearing loss. She is honest with parents and is unbiased and presents all sides. Maureen feels comfortable working with all of our Deaf/Hard of Hearing student population. Our students enjoy working with her and often miss her when we haven’t seen her in a while.

Not only is Maureen active in serving D/HH children in Santa Barbara County, but she also spends countless hours volunteering in the community. She has served as a volunteer wilderness wrangler and was on the board for the Los Padres Forest Association. She loves horses and spends much of her free time with her beloved horse.