HANDS & VOICES
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our Board of Directors is 100% voluntary. Each individual brings their experiences together to ensure all families receive appropriate support. Read about our members below.
Anita Cervantes Bowen - Deaf Adult, Parent and Guide By Your Side
My name is Anita Cervantes-Bowen. I grew up with my deaf parents and had a hearing loss early in my life. I have four children who taught me their special, unique individuals as one was born Deaf, one with Spina Bifida at birth, three of which had hearing loss later in young ages and one became Deaf-Blind included a various usage of special communication modes. Individually, they taught me to recognize every potential in their lives to accomplish their goals. I have my BS in Human Development and Family Science from Illinois State University. My seven years of experience working with DHHDB clients whose emotional and behavioral problems helped them to stabilize in their everyday lives. I have served as a Statewide Deaf Parent Guide of Guide By Your Side since 2012. I enjoy working with families whose children are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In 2014, I become a Director of Illinois Deaf Campers. By 2020, I am pleased to be on the Illinois Hands & Voices Board of Directors to identify potential resources, organize events and assist families with our projects.
Tina Grieco-Calub - Professional
Tina Grieco-Calub, Ph.D., CCC-A is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. She is a certified audiologist and is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of auditory experience on children’s spoken language development. She has a passion for helping every child reach their fullest potential. Tina lives in Highland Park, IL with her husband, two kids and two dogs.
Kelly Fulton - Professional
Kelly Fulton resides in Pesotum, IL, with her family where she is a developmental therapy-hearing early intervention researcher for central Illinois. Kelly has her bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education and her master’s degree in Early Intervention of Sensory Disabilities. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Illinois studying Special Education. Prior to continuing her education, she was a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 8 years. She strives to empower parents to make the best choice for their family while also providing them with the comfort and confidence to know that their choice is flexible. Kelly enjoys supporting DHH Families through our social media advertising and events, and is honored to be part of the Illinois Hands & Voices team.
Ramona Martin - Parent and Guide By Your Side
My name is Ramona Martin. I live in Illiopolis, just 20 minutes from Springfield. I am a full time Social Worker in an alternative High School in Springfield. I joined Guide By Your Side in 2020 as a Parent Guide. My husband, Andrew, and I have 2 sets of twins. Our first set, Hannah and Hunter, were born in 2008. Hunter was identified through the newborn hearing screening and diagnosed at 2 months as having bilateral mild-moderate hearing loss. Our second set of twins, Owen and Noah, were born in 2011. Owen was also identified through the newborn hearing screening and diagnosed at 1 month as having bilateral mild-moderate hearing loss. Both boys have been aided since 3 months and 2 months, while their twins both have normal hearing. I have been blessed with children who want to help others and advocate for others. We have progressed through this journey together, learning as we go. I have sat beside Hunter and Owen as they bravely speak to legislators on behalf of all children in Illinois and I am honored to be their mother. I believe that all children have a voice and are the best to teach us what they need. I love seeing children advocate for themselves and I enjoy learning from them!
Christen Nolfi - Parent
Christen Nolfi lives with her family in Prospect Heights, IL. She is the mother to an eight year old son, Noah, who was born deaf. Christen was a parent guide with Guide By Your Side for 6 years. She enjoys meeting families who have children with hearing loss and connecting to share stories and tips. Christen is a special education teacher in District 23.
Jaclyn Urbanksi - Parent and Guide By Your Side
My name is Jaclyn Urbanski. I live in Libertyville with my husband Steve and we have 3 adult children: Alison, Ethan and Ella. I’ve been on the IL H&V Board since 2016 (6 years). I’ve been on the IL Guide by Your Side team since 2010 (11 years). Ethan is 23 years old and wears bilateral CIs. In May 2020, Ethan graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis with a degree in HealthCare and Business. He currently works full time as an Associate at Eli Lilly and Company. Zeppelin, his chocolate lab can always be found by his side or in the kitchen ;) My journey with Ethan has taught me so many amazing things and I’ve meet so many wonderful people. I enjoy having the opportunity to share my experience and to help others who are now traveling the path of raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Parents should always feel comfortable, safe and supported in the decisions and choices they make for their families.
Michelle Clyne - Professional
Michelle Clyne, M. S. Ed.. is the coordinator for Project Reach: Illinois DeafBlind Services, a statewide IDEA-funded family and school support project for children and youth who are DeafBlind. She has worked with children and youth who are DeafBlind since 1986 in many capacities, including music therapist, teacher of students with visual impairments, DeafBlind specialist, and early intervention provider and evaluator. She lives in Lombard, IL with her husband, John Paprocki
Kari Taylor - Deaf Adult/Professional
Kari Taylor was born deaf to deaf parents. After being placed for adoption to hearing parents soon after birth, it was not until age 4 that her hearing loss was identified. Raised in an oral communication home, she was exposed to sign language immediately entering preschool. She is a Behavior Analyst that specializes in providing behavioral support for kiddos who are deaf/hard of hearing and/or have vision losses. She hopes she can share her experiences as a DHH adult with many families as possible. Kari currently lives in Sycamore, IL with her family (3 daughters are CODA) and her retired hearing dog, Luc.
Amy Keslinke - Parent/Parent Guide
Amy Keslinke is an educator with experience teaching students from 3rd grade through adulthood. She is the mother of two children, one who is deaf with disabilities. Through her experience parenting a child with complicated needs, Amy's passion for writing and teaching have developed into a special interest in empowering parents of children who are deaf with disabilities. One of her favorite ways to advocate for these families is to present to healthcare professionals and other educators on the unique challenges faced by families of children who are deaf with disabilities and how to best support them. She is also a Parent Guide with Guide by Your Side and a Parent Facilitator with the Illinois Service Resource Center along with working as an adjunct faculty member at Elgin Community College. She lives in Gilberts, Illinois, with her husband, Dan, and children, Emerie and Evan.
Caitlin Gomez - Professional
Caitlin Gomez, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech-language pathologist who specializes in working with children with hearing loss. She has worked at UChicago Medicine and has been a member of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant and Hearing Loss Program since 2019. Prior to that, Caitlin served as a school-based speech-language pathologist for a Deaf/Hard of Hearing program in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Her interests include providing comprehensive speech and language interventions in both spoken language and American Sign Language (ASL). She enjoys collaborating with professionals and community partners to provide best-practice care to children with hearing loss and their families. She is currently working towards obtaining her credential as a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert. AVT). Caitlin obtained her Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from Western Illinois University in 2014, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Western Illinois in 2012. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her 6-month old daughter, playing volleyball, and learning how to cook.
Patti Shore Kaden - Chapter ASL Interpreter
PATTI SHORE KADEN - (EIPA, IL, RID) An educational, theatrical, and freelance ASL Interpreter for the past 40 years, Patti has been blessed to have found ILH&V along the way. It has been over 15 years since their mission became her mission. It is a high honor to be named to the Board, for which she is deeply grateful. By day, Patti works supervising interpreter services for SASED. By night, she interprets theatre, entertainment, and concert events all over the Chicagoland area. Sometimes Patti can be seen on stage as an actor as well, taking on the evil women roles whenever possible. Other favorite roles include wife of The Husband Ken and mom of The Son Jeremy.