Meeting successful Deaf adults can be a great source of reassurance among hearing parents. Attend the next two family workshops in which panelists will share their experiences growing up deaf. Three panelists will present at each session.
Please register for these events here.
Jan. 25 presenters:
Heather Suhr is originally from Racine, Wis. She currently lives in Omaha, Neb. She attended Jerome I. Case High School, University of Iowa and Purdue University. Three accomplishments Heather cites about her life are being the first high school division I female golfer to win three consecutive years, being inducted into the Racine County Hall of Fame and completing her first full ironman competition. Heather is a fourth generation Deaf adult.
Briana Stradinger is from York, Nebraska (an important distinction from New York, she says.) She graduated from Ralston High School in Nebraska in 2015 and earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Gallaudet University in 2019. She holds a master’s degree in social work and mental health counseling from Dordt University, which she earned in 2022.
She is involved with boards such as Mental Health Advisory Committee, Interpreter Review Board, Nebraska Association of the Deaf and has been an advisor for the Junior National Association of the Deaf. Her clientele includes more than 100 deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. She is mom to son, Korbin, after experiencing a dangerous birth. Korbin is hard of hearing. Stradinger loves softball, volleyball, camping, hunting and fishing. Her first job was at Texas Roadhouse.
Katie Romey is from Omaha, Nebraska but now calls St. Paul, Minn. home. She graduated from Iowa School for the Deaf, and attended Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha.
Romey was involved in the development of Trauma-Informed Interpreting modules with a focus in survivor advocacy. She has been a board member at the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis and also has mastered poaching eggs! She experiences synesthesia- she can taste shapes and smell colors.
Feb. 1 presenters:
Dana Miles is from Portland, Wash., and currently lives in Ridgefield, Wash. After attending Washington School for the Deaf, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in secondary deaf education & English from Gallaudet University.
Miles was named Washington State Teacher of the Year in 2023, won three cheerleading championships in high school and is raising three “beautiful children.” She is a fan of Harry Potter.
Cody McEvoy was born in Omaha, Neb. He lived briefly in Rochester, New York and Connecticut, and has returned to Omaha. After graduating from a mainstream program that has a deaf education program, he attended Rochester Institute of Technology to earn his bachelor’s degree in psychology. Later, he earned his master’s degree in mental health counseling from Antioch University of New England.
McEvoy revamped and compiled a list of mental health providers in Nebraska who know sign language or are familiar with Deaf culture. As a Deaf/hard-of-hearing individual in Nebraska, McEvoy attempts to improve mental health services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. He also wrote a grant to increase the number of Deaf interpreters from one to six. This was especially important after seeing the need in medical and legal settings. McEvoy is involved in the Deaf Centric Hospital committee, where medical students roleplay what it is like to be a patient without the ability to use sign language. The committee helps people realize communication barriers in this manner.
McEvoy is the oldest of three siblings, all who are Deaf. He has a newborn Deaf child and a deaf dog.
Kevin Boyce is from Bellevue, Neb. After graduating from mainstream school, he went to University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His top three accomplishments are graduating from college, starting a volleyball club and establishing his own DJ business.