Deb Atwood named Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services executive director
Grand Rapids, Michigan – June 22, 2015. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is pleased to announce that Deb Atwood has been named executive director of the organization, effective immediately. Atwood began working at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services in January 2006 as business manager, overseeing the accounting, interpreter services, and human resources departments.
As executive director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Atwood will head an organization that is the sole full-service agency in Western Michigan benefitting more than 3,000 deaf and hard of hearing individuals and families with American Sign Language interpreting services, assistive equipment for low-income senior citizens with hearing loss, sign language classes, and an education and resource program for deaf and hard of hearing children ages 3 through 12 and their families. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services also provides advocacy and cultural awareness/sensitivity training to ensure deaf and hard of hearing individuals obtain equal communication access in society at large, so that they may fully participate on an equal footing.
“It’s an honor to become the executive director; the work of this organization is needed more now than ever,” Atwood said. “Language deprivation and lack of equal communication access is real. These issues have the potential to deepen and prolong the economic crisis many deaf and hard of hearing individuals struggle with. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is at the forefront of efforts to strengthen equal communication access and equal opportunity in our deaf and hard of hearing communities, and I am excited by the important work ahead.”
Prior to working at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Atwood established A&A Catering Inc., where she worked as the CEO for 18 years. Atwood holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Davenport University.
Deaf, Inc., dba Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, is an independent 501(c)3 agency serving Grand Rapids and surrounding areas since 1996 (incorporated in 2002). Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services strives to create a positive impact on deaf and hard of hearing individuals’ lives and help them realize their full potential in society as productive, independent, capable and contributing citizens. Its mission is to provide communication, human services and education to deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities with the goal of inclusiveness in Western Michigan.