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Staff spotlight: Kristen Layton

The New England Consortium on Deafblindness is excited to introduce everyone to our new Program Associate, Damary!

A woman wearing a hat stands looking off of a balcony.

The New England Consortium on Deafblindness is excited to introduce everyone to our new program associate, Kristen Layton! Kristen has several years of experience in the field of deafblindness, starting from high school. She is passionate about communication and language development and will make an excellent addition to our team. Welcome, Kristen!

Tell us a little about your background.

My passion for working with individuals who are DeafBlind started when I was a volunteer at the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) in High School and has been my life’s work since. My first job after graduating with a degree in Elementary Education was as an Instructor of Independent Living at HKNC. After getting my Graduate degree in Multiple Disabilities and DeafBlindness from Hunter College, my career took me to positions with the National Technical Assistance Consortium on DeafBlindess (currently NCDB), the Maryland DeafBlind Project, Boston College, Education Development Center, Inc., and Perkins International. I recently accepted the honor of being a Special Advisor to the National Family Association of the DeafBlind. I’m very excited to be working as a consultant with New England Consortium on Deafblindness!

What do you love most about working in this field?

When I was working with the Maryland DeafBlind Project, we hosted several family weekends where families could gather to learn and connect with other families. The most special moments were when families of newly identified children met families of children who were older. Those connections gave the new families hope, confidence and a more positive outlook for the future of their child. Many lifelong friendships started at those events

What’s one of your favorite memories from working with families?

I have worked more closely with students themselves in my past roles and my favorite thing about my When I was working with the Maryland DeafBlind Project, we hosted several family weekends where families could gather to learn and connect with other families. The most special moments were when families of newly identified children met families of children who were older. Those connections gave the new families hope, confidence, and a more positive outlook for the future of their child. Many lifelong friendships started at those events.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us. 

Despite being fairly small and not very athletic, I won the silver medal in the State of South Carolina free throw (basketball) championship with a 7/10 average.

You’ve got a day off, what are you doing?

Hiking.

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