Deaf Life Honors

Blue Ribbon Committee

Deaf Life Honors’ Blue Ribbon Committee is
comprised of Deaf advocates who have distinguished themselves as
experts in their fields, whether teaching or community activism.

Deaf Life Honors’
Blue Ribbon Committee is comprised of Deaf advocates who have distinguished themselves as experts in their fields, whether teaching or community activism.

Starting with nominations from DLH members, they screen and choose nominees and potential honorees for the eight special awards and Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Blue Ribbon Committee review and screen
nominations for the other fifteen awards to make sure that
all nominees have good standing in our community.
The Blue Ribbon Committee
review and screen nominations for
the other fifteen awards to
make sure that all nominees have good standing in our community.
BRC Members
Deanna Bray
Shana Gibbs
Paul Johnston
Aaron Kelstone
Matthew S. Moore
Melvin Patterson
Cynthia Sanders
John Yeh
Perseus McDaniel
Ketsi Hottle
Alexandria Wailes
Amber Zion
Deanna Bray

Deanne Bray, language teacher and advocate, is best known for her lead role in Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, followed by her role as Emma Coolidge on Heroes. She recently co-starred with husband Troy Kotsur in Arrival & Departure at the Fountain Theatre, a play written for them by Steven Sachs. Actively involved with CLTA, ACTFL, and ASLTA, she’s also well-known for her vlogs, which focus on teaching.

Deanne Bray, language teacher and advocate, is best known for her lead role in Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, followed by her role as Emma Coolidge on Heroes. She recently co-starred with husband Troy Kotsur in Arrival & Departure at the Fountain Theatre, a play written for them by Steven Sachs. Actively involved with CLTA, ACTFL, and ASLTA, she’s also well-known for her vlogs, which focus on teaching.

Shana Gibbs

Shana Gibbs holds two Master’s degrees from Boston University, in Deaf Education and Educational Leadership, and works remotely as a part-time adjunct faculty for the University of North Florida’s Master’s Interpreting Online Program, at Lesley University’s Humanities and Language Department, and also at Northeastern University’s ASL Studies Program.

Shana Gibbs holds two Master’s degrees from Boston University, in Deaf Education and Educational Leadership, and works remotely as a part-time adjunct faculty for the University of North Florida’s Master’s Interpreting Online Program, at Lesley University’s Humanities and Language Department, and also at Northeastern University’s ASL Studies Program.

Paul Johnston
Paul Johnston earned his doctorate in Art Education, with a minor in Philosophy, from Pennsylvania State University. He toured with the NTD, and, a full professor (and artist), has taught numerous art courses at Gallaudet University’s
Art Communication & Theatre Department.

Paul Johnston earned his doctorate in Art Education, with a minor in Philosophy, from Pennsylvania State University. He toured with the NTD, and, a full professor (and artist), has taught numerous art courses at Gallaudet University’s Art Communications & Theatre Department.

Aaron Kelstone

Aaron Kelstone is a veteran actor, director, and playwright. Directing opportunities include the National Theatre of the Deaf, National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology, and Cleveland Signstage Theatre, where he served as artistic director. He has also served as the program director for the NTID Performing Arts Department since 2010.

Aaron Kelstone is a veteran actor, director, and playwright. Directing opportunities include the National Theatre of the Deaf, National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology, and Cleveland Signstage Theatre, where he served as artistic director. He has also served as the program director for the NTID Performing Arts Department since 2010.

Matthew S. Moore

Matthew S. Moore, an alumnus of RIT, founded his independent multimedia company in 1983, launched DEAF LIFE Magazine in 1986, Deaf Life Press in 1992, Redbird Pictures in 2018. He has served on several boards (including chairing the NTID Performing Arts Advisory Board) and founded We the Deaf People, a humanitarian/advocacy nonprofit.

Matthew S. Moore, an alumnus of RIT, founded his independent multimedia company in 1983, launched DEAF LIFE Magazine in 1986, Deaf Life Press in 1992, Redbird Pictures in 2018. He has served on several boards (including chairing the NTID Performing Arts Advisory Board) and founded We the Deaf People, a humanitarian/advocacy nonprofit.

Melvin Patterson

Melvin Patterson is a political advocate who posts about the Deaf community, ASL, and Black Deaf children’s rights. He is excited to be part of Deaf Life Honors to change the world for the better. In his spare time, he loves outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, camping, and talking a lot with his little girls in Patterson, California.

Melvin Patterson is a political advocate who posts about the Deaf community, ASL, and Black Deaf children’s rights. He is excited to be part of Deaf Life Honors to change the world for the better. In his spare time, he loves outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, camping, and talking a lot with
his little girls in Patterson, California.
Cynthia Sanders
Cynthia Sanders is a Professor and Chair of the ASL and Deaf Studies Program at Vincennes University.
She received her B.A. and M.A. from Syracuse University, and her D.A. from SUNY Albany. She co-authored 
ASL at Work (2010) and Deaf Life Press’s This Ain’t Flipping the Bird and 
Offbeat Signs Unwrapped
 (2016)
in the 
Beyond ASL Series.

Cynthia Sanders is a Professor and Chair of the ASL and Deaf Studies Program at Vincennes University. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Syracuse University, and her D.A. from SUNY Albany. She co-authored ASL at Work (2010) and Deaf Life Press’s This Ain’t Flipping the Bird and Offbeat Signs Unwrapped (2016) in the Beyond ASL Series.

John Yeh
A native of Taiwan, John Yeh earned his Master’s in Computer Science at University of Maryland. He is a retired entrepreneur and philanthropist, founder of Integrated Microcomputer Systems and Viable Technologies, and served on the boards of the National Captioning Institute and Gallaudet University.He now enjoys spending time
with his large family.
A native of Taiwan, John Yeh earned his Master’s in Computer Science at University of Maryland. He is a retired entrepreneur and philanthropist, founder of Integrated Microcomputer Systems and Viable Technologies, and served on the boards of the National Captioning Institute and Gallaudet University.
He now enjoys spending time with
his large family.
Perseus McDaniel

A native of Seattle, Perseus McDaniel is an artist, entertainer, and entrepreneur. Involved in theater since 1994, he received certification in Theatre Arts at Gallaudet University and a BFA in Graphic Design at RIT. He established and participated in numerous ventures, which led to his co-founding of
ASLCART, LLC.

A native of Seattle, Perseus McDaniel is an artist, entertainer, and entrepreneur. Involved in theater since 1994, he received certification in Theatre Arts at Gallaudet University and a BFA in Graphic Design at RIT. He established and participated in numerous ventures, which led to
his co-founding of ASLCART, LLC.
Ketsi Hottle
A native of Korea, Ketsi Hottle grew up in Wisconsin, graduated from Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, and earned her Bachelor’s in Bible Studies from Pillsbury Baptist College. She enjoys traveling and photography. She runs an online business, happy to be be able to stay at home with her five children, has done frequent vlogs and music videos, and is known for being a sign model for various ASL curricula.
“Be authentic” is her daily byword.
A native of Korea, Ketsi Hottle grew up in Wisconsin, graduated from Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, and earned her Bachelor’s in Bible Studies from Pillsbury Baptist College. She enjoys traveling and photography. She runs an online business, happy to be be able to stay at home with her five children, has done frequent vlogs and music videos, and is known for being a sign model for various ASL curricula.
“Be authentic” is her daily byword.
Alexandria Wailes

Alexandria Wailes, received a 2020 Lucille Lortel’s nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf at The Public. Her journey on stage, TV and Film as a dancer, actress, director, choreographer and DASL; spans over 20 years. She serves as part of the disability advisory committee for Dance/NYC and on one of Howlround Theatre Commons advisory council for their upcoming 10th year anniversary. In addition to being a theatre maker and advocate she is also
a teaching artist and a museum educator.

Alexandria Wailes, received a 2020 Lucille Lortel’s nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf at The Public. Her journey on stage, TV and Film as a dancer, actress, director, choreographer and DASL; spans over 20 years. She serves as part of the disability advisory committee for Dance/NYC and on one of Howlround Theatre Commons advisory council for their upcoming 10th year anniversary. In addition to being a theatre maker and advocate she is also a teaching artist and a museum educator.

Amber Zion

Amber Zion is a professional theater and film actress. She has worked with Deaf West Theatre and been in a couple of films and two ASL music videos, “Rolling in the Deep” and “Let It Go.” In addition, she is an artist and aims to be an entrepreneur with
gourmet cupcakes and customized arts.

Amber Zion is a professional theater and film actress. She has worked with Deaf West Theatre and been in a couple of films and two ASL music videos, “Rolling in the Deep” and “Let It Go.” In addition, she is an artist and aims to be an entrepreneur with gourmet cupcakes
and customized arts.