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Eric Raff, ’90, newly hired as deputy director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) in July 2016, brings twelve years of directing experience from the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
As deputy director, Eric helps oversee all VDDHH technology and outreach programs, including Virginia Relay and the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people in Virginia who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind or who have difficulty speaking to communicate with standard telephone users. TAP provides no-cost telecommunication equipment to qualified applicants who are unable to use a standard telephone.
Raff’s immediate goal is to connect Virginia’s deaf community. His plans include hosting a series of public meetings throughout Virginia, encouraging VDDHH staff members to improve their sign language proficiency, creating more videos and/or vlogs in ASL, and developing and maintaining good relations with everyone in the community, including deaf, DeafBlind, hard of hearing, and late-deafened community members.
“I came to the realization that VDDHH needed to build bridges with the deaf community,” said Raff. “Change over time cannot happen without conversations, supportive and willing participants, and patience and persistency.”
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Raff is married to Lauren Good, ’93, and have two children. He enjoys playing Frisbee with his Australian shepherd, exercising, collecting postcards, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet, he earned his master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University. He has nearly twenty years of experience providing services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing and DeafBlind.
VDDHH, a state government agency, acts as a resource center for deaf and hard of hearing Virginians, offering information on hearing loss, training for accommodation services, assistance with interpretive services, and providing information on emergency preparedness.
Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...
Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...
James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...
Andrew Greenman, '10
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Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
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