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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments to Advisory Council on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Elizabeth Bystrycki, of Otsego, Jill Gaus, of Jackson, Miriam Horwitz, of Huntington Woods, and Jeannette Johnson, of Grand Rapids, to the Advisory Council on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing.

The 13-member council, housed within the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, advises the department on matters pertaining to deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing persons.

"These individuals bring years of valuable experience to this council," said Snyder. "I am confident their work will continue to support Michigan's deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing citizens."

Bystrycki is former chair of the conference committee of the Michigan Deaf Association. She studied at Gallaudet University. Bystrycki represents deaf or hard of hearing persons and replaces Jamie Maes-Eischen.

Gaus is a consultant with DeafBlind Central. She is also an instructor at Lansing Community College and previously taught at Michigan State University. Gaus has experience as a licensed practical nurse. She represents deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing persons and replaces Odessa Carter. Gaus is also appointed as chair of the Council.

Horwitz is an interpreter with English and ASL Community Interpreting, and has more than 10 years of interpreting experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre and education from American University, and a master’s degree of interpretation from Gallaudet University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in interpretation, also from Gallaudet University. She represents individuals knowledgeable in the field of deafness and replaces Laura Scott.

Johnson is the development director for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services in Grand Rapids. She also has experience with the National Association of the Deaf and Mental Health Services for the Deaf. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in public and nonprofit administration from Grand Valley State University. She will represent deaf or hard of hearing persons and replaces Brenda Neubeck.

Appointees will serve three-year terms expiring Jan. 18, 2018. Their appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.