The Deafblind Support and Access Network (DBSAN) is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization that serves the DeafBlind community and its allies. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, many who are DeafBlind were increasingly being isolated. In order to mitigate this isolation, we started as a simple support group through through the Zoom Video Conferencing Platform in order to stay connected and share our experiences. Through this modest beginning, we have grown into what we are today.
DBSAN is formed for the purpose of providing education about people that are DeafBlind through workshops and panels for those who want to work with the community, and provide support group meetings for DeafBlind to discuss and learn new things.
The DBSAN Logo was originally proposed by a Deafblind graphic designer, Bob Green of Green Graphics, Inc. based in Rochester NY, during a contest in 2021 to design our logo for the organization. After much consideration, we added our new colors to the logo. It starts with a globe that rests in the crook of the arm. The globe is criss-crossed with interconnecting lines symbolizing our networking and consecutiveness, while the arm and hand symbolize our support and access through touch. With a gradient rainbow we represent a diverse group of people with dual sensory loss from every walk of life as well as our support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community. Below our symbol are the letters DBSAN in English and then again in Braille below that.
Jesse Stanley was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he attended a Deaf school's mainstream program. He later moved to Connecticut and got involved in the DeafBlind community there. He is a DeafBlind leader and accessibility advocate, has been doing workshops around New England to expose and educate people about DeafBlindhood and DeafBlind culture. He teaches people that work with DeafBlind, the importance of touch and how to communicate using it. He is the camp director of an ASL immersion camp in RI for adults, and has been working on including more DeafBlind related workshops in the camp as well as encouraging more DeafBlind people to attend. He works at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in West Hartford, CT, where he works as a teacher’s aide; and advocates accessibility for DeafBlind and visually impaired students. He organizes events in the community to encourage people to learn more ProTactile, as well as mentoring interpreters that have attended the DeafBlind Interpreting Institute (DBII), and other interpreters that want to learn about working with DeafBlind. He is one of the founders of DeafBlind Support and Access Network (DBSAN).
Lisa Flaherty-Vaughn grew up in Massachusetts near Boston. She is a graduate of The Learning Center for the Deaf and Marie Phillp School. Lisa attended Gallaudet University from 1984 to 1989 and worked for different schools for the Deaf in Washington, DC, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Vermont, and Maine as a teacher aide and supervisor.
Currently, Lisa works at DeafBlind Advocacy and Assistance in the diverse DeafBlind community. Lisa is the President for DeafBlind Association of Connecticut. She is involved with several boards: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Board, DeafBlind Advisory Committee under the Bureau of Education and Service for the Blind, and the American Association for DeafBlind. Lisa is also a Representative for Deaf Grassroot Movement of CT.
Her passion is advocating and educating sighted people. Her vision is to see improved communication access and support systems to use DBSAN for the DeafBlind community. "Unity is strength."
Patrick was born and raised on Long Island in New York. After graduating mainstream high school in 2006 he moved to North Carolina where he graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a BA in American Sign Language and a minor in Business Administration. Patrick has completed two half Ironman races to date and now lives in Minnesota since 2019.
Jenny Baylor is from Massachusetts and has been involved with the Boston-area DeafBlind community for more than 15 years as a volunteer Support Service Provider (SSP). She was a special education teacher for over 10 years prior to going back to college for interpreting. As a teacher, she has worked with students who had a wide range of special educational needs, including students who were deafblind with multiple disabilities. She has worked in various capacities for schools, residential programs, recreational programs, camps, and providing home services. All of these valuable experiences have inspired in her a passion for working with and supporting children (including those who are deafblind) and their families, and also for being involved with the DeafBlind community. She is thankful to all the DeafBlind individuals she has had the privilege of knowing, all of whom have taught her so much. Jenny has recently graduated from an interpreter training program, and she hopes to work in the future as an interpreter with the DeafBlind community. She is happy to be a part of DBSAN and excited to see all that this organization will continue to accomplish and achieve.
Jennifer Stanley grew up in Westerly, Rhode Island. She is one of the founders of Rhode Island Silent Camp, a total immersion camp for adults learning sign language. She works at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut, where she works with Deaf and DeafBlind students. Jen has been involved with the DeafBlind community for several years.