Northwest Region

Our Service Area

The Northwest Region encompasses the following states:


What We Do

Our regional offices bring HKNC resources to you. Your regional representative knows all about the programs and services that are available to deaf-blind individuals, their families and service providers in your state and beyond, and can help you find and access the ones that are right for you.

Whether you’re interested in learning about support services near your home, would like to take advantage of the technology available through the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program or want to explore the possibility of training at our national headquarters, your regional representative is your link to all that HKNC has to offer ─ consultation, advocacy, assessment, training, referrals and more.

Regional Representative

Marlene Swarts
Marlene Swarts

Marlene Swarts became the regional representative for Region 10 in April 2017. Prior to joining HKNC, she worked for 20 years at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) as a rehabilitation counselor for the deaf, which includes hard of hearing and DeafBlind.  The last three years Marlene was at DVR, she was the DeafBlind specialist providing one-on-one services to customers seeking employment, advancement in employment and/or maintaining current employment.  One of her strengths is working with individuals who have cognitive limitations in addition to being DeafBlind.  Marlene has a Masters of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from Western Washington University.

Marlene’s philosophy is everyone has a right to make their own life decisions regardless of the degree of their disability. She views her role as assisting individuals/families/providers with gathering information in order for them to make an informed choice.


Contact Information

Marlene Swarts (Regional Representative)


Taryn Hill (Administrative Assistant)


Voice: 206.324.9120 Direct | 206.452.7970 VP

1200 12th Ave South Suite 175

Seattle, WA 98144

Voice: 206-602-0790 (text only)

VP: 206-452-0049

Local Events

Are you interested in getting involved in the deaf-blind community in the Northwest Region? Your regional representative can provide information about social gatherings, conferences, listservs and more. Check this space for announcements about upcoming events or contact your regional representative to request email notifications.

Northwest M~POWER: My Pursuit of Work, Empowerment & Resources

Due to COVID-19, the Northwest M~POWER program in Seattle has been rescheduled to summer of 2021.

HKNC offers virtual 2020 summer programs and for additional information: 


Contact Region 10 Representative
Marlene Swarts

Coordinator of Admissions
Dora Carney,

HKNC also offers comprehensive vocational rehabilitation programs, short term training, and deaf-blind immersion experience, virtually.

Northwest Region 10 
1200 12th Ave. South, Suite 175 
Seattle, WA 98144 
Inaugural Summer Program for Youth


A program geared for transition-aged youth who are deaf-blind including major areas of Pre-ETS:
Job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary educational opportunities, workplace readiness training and self-advocacy.



  • To explore your vocational and educational interests so you can make informed choices and take a more active role in your life?


  • To learn how to start making plans for your career and life after high school
  • To examine and to start learning skills in the area of Orientation and Mobility
  • Learn what Adaptive Technology is available to increase your access to communication, employment, independent living, orientation and mobility, etc.
  • To work on what is needed to be work-ready
  • To determine your goals after high school and share lessons learned with peers
  • To explore job interests
  • To participate in a work experience 
  • To learn about college options and how to make an informed choice on which college to attend
  • Learn about your responsibilities and the process of acquiring accommodations when attending college 
  • Learn about your responsibilities and the process of acquiring accommodations when starting employment
  • Learn how to interpret, understand, and to be an active participant in your IEP and IPE
  • Experience the college atmosphere
  • Experience a panel with successfully employed individuals who are deaf-blind
  • To learn what INFORMED CHOICES are and how to make them


Come join your peers ages 16-22 from the Northwest Region for a fun-filled, action-packed one-week program.

Cost: $2,000 for ONE-WEEK PROGRAM – includes tuition and facilities charge, including dorm room, meals, recreational activities and transportation during program activities.  The program will be held at the University of Washington.

Please submit applications by March 30, 2020.

First come first serve!  For registration materials or further information:

Contact Marlene Swarts HKNC - Regional Representative
206-602-0790 (text only)
206-452-0049 (VP)

Or Taryn Hill (Administrative Assistant)
Main Office: 206-324-9120 (voice and text)
206-452-7970 (VP)

HKNC Northwest Regional Office
1200 12th Avenue South, Suite 175
Seattle, WA 98144

Click here for the M~POWER PDF flyer

Click here for M~POWER application

Local Resources

You need answers about what’s out there for you, and HKNC has them.

Ask your regional representative about:

  • The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
  • Local services and referrals
  • On-site assessment, consultation and training
  • Making connections with other individuals and families within the deaf-blind community
  • Technical assistance and in-service training
  • Plans for youth transitioning from educational programs to post-educational services
  • Educational materials and presentations about the capabilities and preferences of people with combined vision and hearing loss

If the services you need are not available in your area, you might want to consider exploring HKNC headquarters in New York as an option for assessment and training. Check out our FAQs and contact your regional representative for more information.

Local Organizations

HKNC maintains relationships with various government agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide services to people who are deaf-blind. Your regional representative can connect you with the best contacts at each organization.