ILRC Team Grows with New Staff
services expand to people with disabilities
Deidra Simon moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2003 with a desire to learn American Sign Language. She left her job as office manager to join the educational interpreting field in 2007, where she accepted her first assignment at Pinedale Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL. When discussing her experience of learning American Sign Language, Deidra said, “I thought I would be able to learn this new language in a matter of weeks and wow was I wrong!” Little did she know that American Sign Language is a language that requires years of practice and immersion into Deaf culture in order to gain proficiency. She says she’ll always be a work in progress. Deidra is excited to now be in a position where she can finally give back to the community that has changed her life in such a positive way. “I’m so excited to work as an advocate for the Deaf community it is truly an honor to serve them in this way!”
We are very excited that Deidra has joined our team, and we are looking forward to all the amazing things we will accomplish with her as our Deaf Consumer Program Coordinator.
Madison Stewart has worked as a case manager, an auditor, and a program analyst for Northeast Florida’s Regional Workforce Board where she developed new local operating procedures to increase efficiency and effectiveness within their programs. She began her work with nonprofit agencies of Northeast Florida in 2012. For the past two years, she has been conducting extensive research on the economy for local colleges and programs under state and federal grants. This research has gone towards helping Jacksonville community partners understand the current scope of employment among all demographics, as well as projecting market supply and demand for different areas of education and careers. She is passionate about helping people with disabilities and strives to continuously gain knowledge needed to improve the programs that benefit them.
We excitedly welcome Madison to the ILRC family as our new Executive Assistant and look forward to the work she will do with us.
Adriana Cheraso is the newest addition to the WIPA team. She is currently in the process of completing her training to become a Certified Work Incentives Coordinator with the ILRC of Northeast Florida. She recently graduated from the University of North Florida with her Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Social Welfare. Adriana has always had a passion for helping others. Throughout college she began volunteering at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville as an Expanded Horizon’s Literacy tutor. While there, she prepared her students to take their GED prep classes at FSCJ. After college, she worked for a domestic violence agency providing direct services to victims of domestic violence.
She is dedicated and passionate about helping others in our community in any way that she can. We are thrilled to have her as a team member at the Independent Living Resource Center.
Jose Morales went to high school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. He also volunteered as a tutor for English as a Second Language students. In 2008, Jose joined a junior USA Goalball team. Goalball is an adaptive sport for the blind and visually impaired. He is currently coaching youth in Jacksonville and is nationally recognized in the sport.
Jose recently graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a minor in International Studies. He is currently working in our agency as a Program Assistant. “I hope to inspire, empower, and motivate people who face some of the same barriers I come across,” said Jose, when asked what he liked the most about his job. “I am honored to work at the ILRC because I get to help develop and promote, self advocate, engage the community, and network for all people with disabilities in our community.”