retires - Archive

Cheryl Heppner, NVRC Executive Director Retires

July 1, 2015 in NVRC Announcements




July 1, 2015

After nearly 25 years of exemplary service as the Executive Director of Northern Virginia Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons, Cheryl Heppner has announced her retirement, effective July 10, 2015.

Cheryl took the helm of NVRC when it was a fledgling organization in 1991 and has successfully led it to become the premier organization in Northern Virginia, with national recognition, providing services to deaf and hard of hearing persons and families.

During Cheryl’s long tenure with NVRC, there were many presentations, rallies, protests and fund raising walks. She joined forces to advocate for TV & movie captions, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and emergency text to 911. She is known for her constant companions, her service dogs, Dana and Galaxy. Her accomplishments and legacy will continue to live on through the lives she has touched and friends she has made during her tenure.

She is greatly appreciated as a person, friend, and advocate. Cheryl’s work is recognized and appreciated by all in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

   More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Neto’s Tucson: Deaf pressman leaves legacy at newspaper plant

January 14, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



By Ernesto Portillo Jr.
January 11, 2015

James Krakowiak never understood the words “can’t do it.”

That’s what he was told when he sought a job in a newspaper’s pressroom, a place where huge presses, when rolling, make thunderous noise.

Krakowiak couldn’t work as a pressman because he is deaf, he was flatly told. He had to hear the presses and, if there were problems, hear the alarms.

But Krakowiak wouldn’t have any of it. When he was a student at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, on West Speedway, he took a printing class, albeit with smaller machines. He fell in love with printing — the smearing of the ink on the skin, the smell of freshly printed paper and the sight of machines spitting printed words. He wanted to work as a printer.

And he did. On Friday, Krakowiak, known as “Jimbo” to his co-workers, retires from the Arizona Daily Star pressroom after 42 years.

“I told my friends I wanted to work in a big printing facility,” Jimbo said through his interpreter, Rusty Mitchell of Z Video Relay Service, which assists hearing-impaired people communicate via video.

He would not be denied. However, Jimbo did more than stay on a job that he was not supposed to have. He brought his co-workers into his deaf world.

“There are 10 people here who have learned basic sign language,” said Jimbo, who turns 66 the day before his final day keeping the presses rolling.

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