Hands & Voices of New York

Board Members

image of Jacqueline Augustine

Jacqueline Augustine joined the Board of Hands and Voices New York in Fall 2020. Jackie is a parent board member local to the Central New York, Syracuse area. She has a son with bilateral hearing loss and she herself, also has bilateral hearing loss. Jackie is excited to serve on the Board of Hands and Voices New York to help to improve and foster parental support and advocacy among other efforts. She also hopes to help other individuals and families by sharing not only her experience being a parent to a child with hearing loss but also sharing her own personal experience with hearing loss. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the State University of New York at Cortland. Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and family, her two dogs, fishing and boating on the finger lakes, reading, and running.

image of Gillian Barnard

Gillian Barnard Gillian Barnard joined the Hands and Voices Board in the fall of 2021. Her son Elliot is a fun-loving 3 year old who was born with bilateral hearing loss. She and her family live in Hurley near Kingston, NY. Gillian is excited to connect families with children that are Deaf and Hard of Hearing that live in the Hudson Valley. She is especially passionate about sharing her story and the stories of other parents to help new parents navigate their journey. She believes that the resources Hands and Voices can provide and help to connect parents to are invaluable! Gillian works as a graphic designer and spends her time with her 2 kids and husband enjoying life in the Hudson Valley.

image of Kristin Bergholtz

Kristin Bergholtz joined the Board of Hands and Voices New York in Spring 2022. Kristin is a professional board member in the Rochester area. She has worked as a speech-language pathologist for 18 years and has a specialization in working with children and adults who are deaf/hard of hearing. Kristin owns a private speech-language therapy practice in Rochester, NY where she works with families and children (infants, preschoolers, and school-age) who have a variety of speech, language, and hearing needs. In addition, Kristin runs Hear Together, a parent/caregiver support group for those who have/are caring for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. In conjunction with her music therapy colleague, she also runs Hear We Go, a Preschool/Music group for children who are deaf/hard of hearing that promotes speech, language, listening and social skills. Kristin is excited to continue to support and advocate for families and children that are deaf/hard of hearing by sharing her experiences and professional work. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, reading, and visiting the Cape.

image of Jennifer Pomeroy

Morgan Boland joined the Board of Hands and Voices of New York in Fall 2023. Morgan is a parent board member local to the Albany, Capital Region area. Her 3-year-old son, Gabriel, was born with profound hearing loss and is a bi-lateral cochlear implant user. He loves to sing, play his guitar and be outside. Morgan is excited to join the Board of Hands and Voices New York to help to connect families with children that are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Capital Region. Through early intervention and with support from parents in the Hands & Voices of New York network, Gabriel is thriving, and Morgan hopes sharing their family’s experiences can help new parents in their journeys as well. Morgan enjoys spending time with her family and friends, audiobooks, baking, and everything about the fall season.

image of Steve and Karen Engle

Steve and Karen Engel are founding board members for Hands & Voices of New York. They are proud parents of two adult children, the youngest has a severe/profound bi-lateral hearing loss. Karen is a Special Education teacher for the Hudson City School District. She is on the Board of Directors for COARC, Chair for Jaime’s Run for People with Special Needs and Member of Sean’s Run Planning Board, a member of Zonta, a member of Chatham Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and a member of Alpha Delta Kappa. Steve is a musician and guitar instructor amongst many other things, a Lions Club member and member of the Chatham Fire Department. Both are members of the Eric Carle museum since its inception.

image of Joan Fargnoli

Joan Fargnoli has been a Teacher of the Deaf for several years. She was employed at the Rome School, for the deaf in Rome NY as a pre-school teacher until 20 years ago when the principal and Joan opened a home-based program for babies and their families. She served as the Coordinator and the Provider. It was a needed and welcome service. She left the school for the deaf 3 years ago at which time another very qualified Teacher took that position. At that time she began working part time at Building Blocks Learning Center. Some of the families she had previously served had stated that they would like to give back to the new families.  With the support of her Supervisor, Michelle O’Brien, she initiated a program called Hear4You. They set up guidelines and take referrals when requested. The main goal of Hear4YouCNY is to address the needs of the family as well as put them in connection with new families. It has been very successful.

image of Emilee Foster

Emilee Foster is a Teacher of the Deaf and has been with the New York Chapter of Hands & Voices since 2017. She lives in the Capital District and has been working as a teacher of the deaf since 1981. For 17 years she taught in a morning and an afternoon preschool for deaf and hard of hearing students at the Communication Disorders Center at Albany Medical Center Hospital. Since 1997 she has been employed by Capital District Beginnings as an itinerant teacher of the deaf, delivering services to children and their families both at home and in the community. She works with infants, preschoolers and school-age children.

image of Elaine Galer

Dr. Elaine Gale is an associate professor and program leader of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher preparation program at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Gale is currently the Lead Investigator for the Hunter College consortium on a research project titled Family ASL: Bimodal Bilingual Acquisition by Deaf Children of Hearing Parents supported by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is connected with many of the NYC schools serving deaf children and their families and she also serves as a board member for St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf. Dr. Gale is also connected internationally as the chair of the Deaf Leadership International (DLIA), a global organization that advocates for Deaf Leadership throughout the early intervention system collaborating with professionals and connecting with young deaf children and their families. She is passionate about making a positive impact for young deaf children and their families.

image of Samantha Taylor

Samantha Taylor joined the Hands & Voices New York Board in fall 2023. Samantha lives in Rochester, NY with her husband and two sons. Her older son is a Deaf teenager. She is also the owner of a pediatric speech & language private practice that works with both hearing and deaf/hard-of-hearing children and their families on a variety of skills such as receptive and expressive language development, vocabulary acquisition, social communication, and grammar development. Samantha also serves on a handful of other boards in the area that are connected with the deaf community. When not working, Samantha enjoys going on adventures with her family, spending time with friends, and reading a good book.

image of Dr. Russell Wolff

Dr. Russell Wolff is a licensed psychologist in the State of New York and has been with the New York Chapter of Hands & Voices since 2019. He has extensive professional and personal experience with the Deaf and hard of hearing population in a variety of settings. This experience has been enhanced by his own personal experiences growing up as a Deaf person within the Deaf and hearing community. He is both oral and fluent in American Sign Language. Prior to moving to the Capital Region in August 2009, Russell worked at Lexington Center for Mental Health Services in Queens for 6 years as a mental health clinician working with Deaf and hard of hearing children and adults with psychiatric conditions. He worked in private practice in Troy for 5 years, providing counseling services for the Deaf and hard of hearing. Currently, he works in the role of a school social worker for Capital Region BOCES with the Deaf and hard of hearing children. He is also an adjunct faculty, teaching American Sign Language at Hudson Valley Community College and Siena College. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, outdoor activities, and biking.


Donation is greatly appreciated to support our mission for the deaf and hard of hearing children and families in New York.