The American Council of the Blind recently hired two new staff members. One is Swatha Nandhakumar, who joined the team on March 1st as the Advocacy and Outreach Specialist. She will be supporting Clark Rachfal, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, with monitoring, responding to and researching government agendas, as well as providing information, referral and peer support to incoming callers.
Swatha is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago, with a bachelor of arts in political science. Her background includes multiple legislative internships, including ones with the office of Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois state representative Janet Yang Rohr, and working with the Library of Congress. Swatha was also very involved in student leadership at Loyola, serving as the Vice President of Inside Government. We are very excited to have Swatha on the team and look forward to her positive contributions!
Also joining the staff is Jo Lynn Bailey-Page, Audio Description Project Coordinator and Grant Writer. She will be supporting Tony Stephens, Director of Development, with coordinating all aspects of the Audio Description Project as well as preparing and submitting grant proposals to potential funders.
For the last five years, Jo Lynn has served as ACB’s grant writer. Her accomplishments include securing funding opportunities for ACB’s online community engagement and the “Get Up and Get Moving” initiative, creating the Grants Power Grid to target major corporations, and expanding our grants pipeline to 50-plus submissions. Jo Lynn also has 10 years’ experience working as an independent audio describer, providing live audio description and developing scripts for performances and exhibits. She also is leading ACB’s active participation in the UniDescription Project with the University of Hawaii and the National Park Service. She has a bachelor’s degree in music-vocal performance from George Mason University and is a graduate of Joel Snyder’s Audio Description Training Institute. Many of you have probably met her during our conventions and D.C. Leadership Conferences in the past.