Megan A. Conway, PhD, is director of the Information, Research and Professional Development Department. She joined Helen Keller National Center in 2019 as a research and accessibility specialist after 18 years as a faculty member at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Conway holds a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of California, Berkeley. Her experiences as a DeafBlind person have motivated her to focus her career on access to education, the workplace and community life for DeafBlind people and other people with disabilities. In her current role at HKNC, Dr. Conway is responsible for overseeing a robust research and professional development program to ensure that rehabilitation practices are informed by the latest research and shared with professionals and the community for the benefit of DeafBlind people. Dr. Conway also oversees the Older Adult program.
Jenee Alleman is the Older Adults Program Specialist at Helen Keller National Center. Her role is to provide consultation, training, technical assistance, advocacy, resource materials, and program development nationally on behalf of senior adults age 55 and better who are experiencing combined hearing and vision loss. Ms. Alleman-Goodman obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Gallaudet University. She worked at the Louisiana School for the Deaf as a school counselor serving Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing students. She was also a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the state of North Carolina serving on the Deaf/HH and general caseloads. She served on the American Association of the Deaf-Blind board as Vice-President and President as well as volunteered her time at the US Army Family Advocacy Program in Fort Irwin, CA.
Tara Brown-Ogilvie is the Research and Accessibility Specialist at Helen Keller National Center. Her role is to support a robust research program, collaborate with universities, and provide consultation on the inclusion of individuals who are DeafBlind in research activities.
She has enjoyed over 10 years of working with youth and adults who are Deafblind as a support service provider, vision rehabilitation therapist, tactile sign language interpreter, HKNC regional representative, and certified orientation and mobility specialist.
Tara is also a National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities (NLCSD) scholar pursuing a Ph.D. in Special Education at University of Northern Colorado (UNCO). She also holds a M.S.Ed. with an emphasis in Orientation and Mobility along with a B.S. in Sign Language Interpreting.
Tara has co-authored several research articles related to visual impairment, Deafblindness, and disability support services. Her research interests include DeafBlindess, transition services, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, accessibility, and communication access.
Allison Burrows, the coordinator of Information Services, has been at Helen Keller National Center since 1981 when she began volunteering as a braille transcriber. In 1982, Ms. Burrows joined the staff as part-time assistant volunteer coordinator and in 1985 she accepted the full-time position of administrative assistant/interpreter/SSP for one of the directors of HKNC until his retirement in 2009. She then became administrative assistant, Community Education, a position she held until 2011 when she was named coordinator of Information Services. Ms. Burrows graduated from Lasell Jr. College in 1962, and Katharine Gibbs School in 1963. She earned her Braille Transcriber’s Certification from the Library of Congress in 1978. As coordinator of Information Services, Ms. Burrows’ duties include: Writing and editing a weekly in-house newsletter; braille transcription for HKNC participants and braille classes for staff; coordinating tours of the HKNC training program; managing HKNC’s media posts; photographing special events, new staff, students; maintaining the HKNC archives; responding to requests for information. Ms. Burrows also works with the HKNC Development Department by assisting writing/editing fundraising promotional material and assisting with special events.
Trish Lynch, the administrative assistant for IRPD, began her career with HKNC in 2022. Her current role involves assisting with the development of the IRPD’s resources and online learning content, along with providing support for professional trainings around the country.
With a background in animation, she contributes a specific set of creative and technical skills to the team. Her lived experience as a hard of hearing individual has led to a passion for accessibility, especially among the digital world.
Wendy Laila Chouinard, coordinator of Curriculum and Training, joined HKNC in 2019, serving in employment services before transitioning to IRPD. She brings over 20 years of experience in working with the Deaf/DeafBlind communities in various capacities and is an active member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Ms. Chouinard brings in over 10 years of experience in creating and teaching workplace safety and cultural inclusion in the workplaces for medical facilities, school districts and private businesses. Ms. Chouinard is a first generation American, daughter of civil war refugees, and speaks French, Spanish, Arabic, American Sign Language and English.
Stacey Sullivan, M.A., CCC-SLP, is the coordinator of Professional Development and has more than 25 years of experience working with individuals who are DeafBlind. She has held several roles at HKNC including instructor and supervisor of the Communications Learning Center as well as acting director of Information, Research and Professional Development (IRPD). Mrs. Sullivan also spent several years working as a speech language pathologist in a Traumatic Brain Injury Unit at a local hospital and worked as an SSP and interpreter. She took on a variety of consulting positions until she returned to HKNC in 2013. Mrs. Sullivan has created, with support and expertise from her collages and various individuals in the DeafBlind community, more than 25 online courses and over 50 resources that can be used by professionals, family members and individuals who are DeafBlind. She also develops professional training curricula and supports HKNC staff with developing and providing impactful and accessible trainings around the country.
Learn more about Information, Research, and Professional Development (IRPD)