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DeafBlind Panel Discussion: Communicating Our Way

Moderated by Kaitlyn Mielke and Patrick Vellia

5/2/2022 2:31:32 PM

Patrick and Kaitlyn's headshots along with MNCDHH's logo and the text,

Come and attend this panel discussion where panelists will each share information about daily living as a DeafBlind individual (no two stories are alike). There are challenges and barriers when it comes to communicating. The panelists will share how they communicate with people out in the community as well as what others can do when they meet a DeafBlind individual, often for the first time ever. If you work for a government agency on the state, county, and city level, our panelists have ideas on how to improve quality of life for your residents with dual hearing and vision loss. 


The panelists are

  • Jon L., a DeafBlind young adult with Usher syndrome. 
  • Hannah Furney, a DeafBlind recent college graduate who is searching for employment opportunities. Hannah’s degree is in advocacy, accessibility, and minority studies (individualized studies).
  • Erin Bradford, a DeafBlind librarian who grew up hard of hearing before becoming legally blind as an adult. 
  • Lolly Lijewski, a human services professional who was born with a congenital eye disease, and has recently acquired moderate hearing loss.
  • Kaitlyn Mielke, a DeafBlind writer, performing arts and theater accessibility consultant, and MNCDHH communications specialist. (moderator and panelist)
  • Patrick Vellia, a DeafBlind catering cook, web developer, nonprofit cofounder, and MNCDHH outreach & civic engagement specialist. (moderator and panelist)

Intended audience

State of Minnesota employees and anyone who is interested in learning more about deafblindness.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm


Panelists will present in either American Sign Language or English voicing. ASL interpreters and CART provided. For additional accommodations, please email at least 5 business days in advance.


Register to attend (or just show up a few minutes before the webinar begins).

Calling in via phone is an option if preferred. Please register to attend. After registering, you will receive a confirmation via email. The confirmation will include information on how to call in by phone.

Register today!



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