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Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Presents Annual Community Leadership Awards  

Leaders, Advocates, and Allies Recognized During Legislative Awareness Day Event

For immediate release:
October 11, 2022
Contact: Payal Sharmacharya
payal.sharmacharya@maryland.gov
443.453.5871

 Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Presents Annual Community Leadership Awards  
Leaders, Advocates, and Allies Recognized During Legislative Awareness Day Event

ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GODHH) yesterday presented its annual community leadership awards, recognizing exceptional work within and contributions to Maryland’s Deaf and hard of hearing community. The awards, presented together with the Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, honored leaders, advocates, and allies during GODHH’s annual legislative awareness day.

“This is an important time of the year where Deaf and hard of hearing advocates are honored for making Maryland better for all,” said GODHH Director Kelby Brick. “We are stronger because of dedicated advocates and this is an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate these honorees.”

Every year, GODHH’s legislative awareness day brings together individuals and organizations from across Maryland to discuss how the needs of the Deaf and hard of hearing community may be addressed through the legislative process. This year’s program featured a keynote by Jacob Leffler, president and co-founder of the Baltimore City Association of the Deaf; a panel discussion with representatives from the Maryland Association of the Deaf, Maryland Deaf Senior Citizens, the Metro South Asian Deaf Association, and the Metro Washington Association of the Deaf-Blind; and an open forum town hall.

Following the legislative awareness program’s conclusion, GODHH presented awards to the following honorees:

  • The 12th Annual Governor’s Kelby Brick Community Leadership Award: Presented to community leader and educator Lindsay Dunn in recognition of his decades of activism, including his tenure as a member and first Deaf Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Chair and member of the state-established Task Force on Funding for the Maryland School for the Deaf.
  • Spirit of the Deaf Ecosystem Award: Presented to Mark Burke, owner and co-founder of Streetcar 82 brewery for his support and empowerment of the economic mobility of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, organizations and businesses through a concept known as the Deaf Ecosystem.
  • Outstanding Deaf Business Award: Presented to Dr. Bo A. Byun, DMD, a Deaf dentist in Marriottsville who provides exemplary services to Deaf and hard of hearing patients, as well as patients from the larger public.
  • Outstanding Ally Award: Presented to Betty Colonomosa hearing child of Deaf adults and certified interpreter who has trained and mentored thousands of sign language interpreters across the country while serving as a strong advocate for Deaf people, consistent with the principles and values of the Deaf Ecosystem. 
  • Youth Activism Award: Presented to Savannah Dahan, student at Maryland School for the Deaf and American Sign Language (ASL) music performer who uses her platform to educate the community about accessibility at live entertainment venues, marine environment awareness, and ASL/Deaf culture.
  • Spirit of the Office Award: Presented to Hillel Goldberg, longtime mentor and community activist in numerous local, state and national organizations.
  • Director’s Award: Presented to Norma Moran, community activist, advocate and member of the Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 
  • Civic Engagement Award: Presented to Dr. Judy Mounty, community advocate, educator and social worker whose behavioral health advocacy engages with local and state entities.
  • Outstanding Public Official Award: Presented to Maryland State Senator Ronald N. Young, for his support of the Maryland Deaf Community Center.
  • Community Advocacy Award: Presented to Maryland Deaf Senior Citizensfor their advocacy on behalf of aging Deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Photos of the event are available on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @MarylandGODHH. 

For more information about the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, including information about the Deaf Ecosystem, visit odhh.maryland.gov.

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About the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Governor’s Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing serves as a coordinating office that advises the governor on issues related to the Deaf and hard of hearing population. The office advocates for and promotes the general welfare of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Maryland by addressing policy gaps, providing expertise related to Deaf and hard of hearing issues, and facilitating access to resources and services. Learn more by visiting our website at odhh.maryland.gov and connect with us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


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