EARLY HEARING DETECTION AND INTERVENTION VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
MARCH 2-5, 2021
(Virtually the same conference, without elevators, airplane tickets, or hotel room keys)
EHDI FAMILY LEADERSHIP AWARD
Lisa Lopatofsky is a mother of two children with Usher syndrome and a tireless advocate for deaf and hard of hearing and deafblind children and families across the Pennsylvania Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) network and beyond. Her contributions have led to improvements to the EHDI system within her region of Northeast Pennsylvania and throughout the entire state. Lisa serves the EHDI program and its families in several capacities. She is a Peer Supporter for Parent to Parent of PA and a Parent Mentor with Family Connections for Language and Learning (FCLL), Pennsylvania's primary EHDI family support program. Through her work with FCLL, Lisa connects with families throughout the state and serves as a mentor and guide during the first three years of their child's life. The Director of FCLL's Parent Mentor called Lisa a "consummate professional and compassionate mentor." Lisa is a member of the PA Deaf-Blind Advisory Committee and a founding member of the Northeast PA Learning Community, where she played an integral role in developing a regional resource guide for families of children with hearing loss to ensure they are connected to a network of providers and support services throughout the region. Lisa also does advocacy work for the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children as well as the Choices for Children Program, which provides Early Intervention services to deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers. A representative of the Choices for Children program described Lisa's impact as immeasurable, stating "Lisa shares hope with our families. She has been down this road herself and has faced and overcome many challenges and is a fierce ally and advocate for families taking this same journey. Lisa advocates not only for her children, but for all children." In addition to her work across these many EHDI related programs, Lisa also dedicates significant time to deafblind advocacy. Lisa and her family are members of the National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB), where Lisa is a member of the Executive Committee, and Lisa sits on the board of the NFADB PA affiliate, the Pennsylvania Partnership for Deafblind (PPDB) as the PPDB Vice President. As evidenced by the work described above, Lisa has dedicated herself to mentorship and advocacy for deaf and hard of hearing families and deafblind families at the local, state, and national level. Her compassion and generosity are unmatched, and her impact on the PA EHDI program is seen across her work with many different boards, programs, and initiatives. The work of EHDI advances year to year precisely because of people like Lisa, who pour their hearts into their work and into the community.