Deb HarlinBrooklyn & Long Island, NY (May 24, 2021) – Helen Keller Services (HKS), a national non-profit working with individuals who are blind, with low vision and are DeafBlind and/or have combined hearing-vision loss announced the promotion of Deborah Harlin to Executive Director of the Helen Keller National Center, effective May 24, 2021. She was previously Acting Executive Director of the Helen Keller National Center as of October 1, 2020.

“Debbie has been an integral part of the Helen Keller National Center team for decades,” said Susan Ruzenski Ed.D., CEO of Helen Keller Services. “We are grateful and excited to have Debbie assume this leadership position permanently. She has done an outstanding job over the last seven months! Her experience and abilities with direct services, research and professional development are a benefit to the continued growth of the organization. She has enriched our organization, and collaborative work with the DeafBlind community and national stakeholders through her strong leadership and her rich knowledge”.

As Executive Director, Ms. Harlin will continue to play an active role as a participant in HKS executive team and share responsibility for strategic initiatives, standards for practice, and development of new programs and services. development.

“I am thrilled to be provided this opportunity to partner with the HKS executive team and to lead such a strong HKNC team in working with people who are DeafBlind,” said Ms. Harlin. “Facing a pandemic since last year, HKNC’s innovative staff have paved the way for creative and exciting new programming. As we continue to expand our offerings on campus and in the field, creating new partnerships across the country, I look forward to the increased opportunities we can provide to people who are DeafBlind, families and professionals in the field.”

Ms. Harlin has held a variety of positions at HKNC over a total of 28 years. She has previously been Director of Information, Research and Professional Development where among other responsibilities, she supported the development of Helen Keller National Center’s variety of online courses and facilitated the HKNC DeafBlind National Community of Practice.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Colgate University and Master’s degree from Long Island University/CW Post. She holds NY State teaching certifications as a teacher of the blind and low vision and as a special education teacher. She has also worked as an itinerant teacher of the low vision on Long Island and as a pre-school program supervisor for United Cerebral Palsy Association.

About Helen Keller Services:

Helen Keller Services’ mission is to enable individuals who are blind, have vision loss, are DeafBlind and/or have combined hearing-vision loss to live, work and thrive in their community of choice. HKS offers services and programs through two divisions: Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults and Helen Keller Services for the Blind. For more information, please visit

Jasmin Kaur

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