Deaf Ed Summer Workshop: D, HOH, ASD... WHAT? When Autism and Deafness Co-exist - Mary Fruits & Ronda Last
August 4, 2020 –
Embracing the Challenges of assessing a deaf child who has autism. By understanding the co-occurrence, this webinar will help us develop a path to improve our assessment and development of appropriate programs and support/services for students who are both deaf and autistic.
Mary Fruits: Mary graduated from Madonna University’s ITP program in Livonia, MI in 2001. She moved to Indianapolis and worked 2 years at the Indiana School for the Deaf as a dorm supervisor and educational coordinator. She then moved to Madison in 2003 to work as the staff interpreter for Society’s Assets at the Wisconsin Relay to pursue her dream of being an interpreter. After 5 years she took on the challenge of video relay and has worked for multiple VRS companies for the past 12 years. She has taken on the challenges of freelance interpreting including medical, post-secondary education, and staff interpreter for Deaf Unity. She was also the Executive Director for the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin for 2 years.
Mary earned her Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis in 2013 from Ball State University along with a Certificate in Autism. Mary joined the WESP-DHH Outreach team in February 2020 as the full-time staff interpreter and is excited to collaborate with the team on their multiple projects. Mary and her husband, Brian, have 3 sons who keep them busy and on their toes. She enjoys gardening, standup paddleboarding, playing slow pitch softball on multiple teams, running a football camp for those on the Autism Spectrum and volunteering with her local Autism Society.
Ronda Last, School Psychologist: For over 23 years, Ronda Last has worked as a school psychologist in both public and deaf schools. She has helped students of all ages, their families, and their teachers find the understanding and support they need to be successful. Her own personal experience and work with deaf and hard of hearing students provides her with a unique perspective. She recently moved to Wisconsin from California with her husband and three children. Ronda is currently the school psychologist for the Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD).