Photo credit: Payal Sharmacharya, Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Maryland Governor Wes Moore announced on November 15 the appointment of Usherla DeBerry, ’99, as acting director of the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GODHH). DeBerry’s appointment is subject to approval by the State Senate, which will convene in January 2024.
“It is vital that we provide all resources and access to opportunities for Maryland’s Deaf and hard of hearing community. I am confident that we have the right team in place to accomplish that goal,” said Gov. Moore. “I am grateful that Ms. DeBerry and the new board members answered the call to serve. I thank Acting Director [Kate] Breen, ’99 & G-’09, for her tremendous work and leadership in the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing during this search process and I look forward to all that the office, the board, and our administration will do together in partnership.”  
The Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing promotes equal and full access for all Marylanders by providing expertise that enhances the general welfare of Maryland’s Deaf and hard of hearing residents. The office addresses policy gaps, provides expertise related to Deaf and hard of hearing issues, and facilitates the ability to access resources and services. 

DeBerry was previously a teacher in the District of Columbia public school system. Before that, she was a Regional Manager for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Housing Operations Manager at Gallaudet University. She also has been an adjunct faculty member at Gallaudet University, Wake Technical Community College, and Delaware Technical Community College. She is a member of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association Board of Directors, and has been a member and officer of National Black Deaf Advocates. 
DeBerry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Gallaudet University, a Master of Education degree from Wilmington University, and an Educational Specialist degree from Grand Canyon University.  

Governor Moore also announced the name of six people whom he is appointing to the newly-created State Board of Sign Language Interpreters: Dr. Pamela Collins, ’07, G-’11, & PhD ’20, a faculty member in the Interpretation and Translation program; Trudy Suggs, ’95; Jacob Leffler, ’10 & G-’15; Shane Feldman, Susan Beaver, and Kaylee Teixeira. A seventh member will be appointed at a later time, and the board will elect its own chair. 

Congratulations to all new appointees! 

The information in this article was provided by Gov. Moore’s office. 

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