Skip to content Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Persons



 Mission Statement

To empower deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families through education, advocacy and community involvement.

Who We Serve

We Serve a Diverse Community of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons serves a diverse range of people, including the deaf, deaf-blind, late-deafened, hard of hearing, parents with deaf and hard of hearing children, children of deaf and hard of hearing parents, educators, sign language teachers and students, hearing aid users, people with cochlear implants, people with tinnitus, and people with auditory processing disorders.

Mission Driven

We Are a Mission Driven and Diverse Organization

We are passionate about empowering deaf and hard of hearing people and their families to positively change their lives through improved communication.The NVRC Board and staff are diverse and reflect the many facets of self identification. While our Board is required to have at least 51{31ab897a4370feb218155abc15d7b38f5bba01528a749bd66fe114ec092a63fc} of its Directors be deaf or hard of hearing, the overwhelming majority of the Board and staff are deaf or hard of hearing.

Some Board and Staff identify as Deaf, some deaf with cochlear implants, some hard of hearing, and some hearing, and many sign ASL. We are people from different generations - Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y, and our generational experiences have also shaped our perspectives. The diversity of the deaf and hard of people we serve and our own auditory and cultural diversity contributes to the uniqueness of NVRC.

Community Based

We are a Community Based Organization

Established in 1988, and founded by local leaders in the deaf and hard of hearing community, the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons exists to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community in Northern Virginia. Current communities served include the  counties of Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun, and the City of Falls Church.

With more almost 250,000 people with hearing loss, and over 5,000 deaf people just in the these communities, the Washington DC Metro area is one of the most dense pockets of deaf and hard of hearing people in the country. We provide deaf and hard of hearing Northern Virginians - along with their families, friends, coworkers, employers, and the businesses and agencies that serve them - the tools and resources they need for success and independence in our communities.

Our Board

Board of Directors

The Board is charged with determining NVRCs mission and purpose; selecting, supporting and evaluating the Executive Director; ensuring effective planning; monitoring and strengthening programs and services; ensuring adequate financial resources; protecting assets and providing proper financial oversight; building a competent Board; ensuring legal and ethical integrity; and enhancing NVRC’s public standing.

The by-laws require that 51% of the 15-member Board be deaf or hard of hearing. Board members serve a 1-3 year term, meet once a month, and are elected at the Annual Meeting in December.

2017 Executive Committee
Eileen McCartin, Chair
Meg Duarte, Vice-Chair
Brad Staton, Treasurer
Pam Gannon, Secretary

Our Staff

NVRC Staff

Robert Loftur-Thun, Interim Executive Director

Robert (Bob) joined NVRC as Interim Executive Director in July 2015. Bob has 15 years executive experience in the private sector and over 15 years in the non-profit sector. He has a strong foundation in financial management, with a BS/BA degree in Finance and Accounting from Georgetown University, further training and certification as a CPA and executive financial management positions in a number of companies. Bob also has a strong technology background, and was IT Director of the Corcoran Gallery/College of Art + Design. In addition, Bob has been a CEO of a start-up company as well as a non-profit organization, and has taken a company from $2 million to $5 million in two years. Bob has also served as Vice President of Marketing and Development of a non-profit organization.

Andaleeb Elayan - Finance & Administration Manager

Andaleeb joined the NVRC staff in June 2016. She graduated from Gallaudet University in May 2016 with BS degrees in  Accounting and Business Administration. Andaleeb also started working for Global Deaf Muslim part-time in June 2016. She was born Deaf and grew up in Northern Virginia. Andaleeb is pursuing to become a certified CPA in the near future.


Bruce GreenfieldBruce Greenfield, Web Media Technologist

Bruce joined the NVRC staff  part-time starting July, 2012. He brings a broad range of skills related to web technologies, photography, graphics, and mobile communications. A graduate from RIT with a career focused on presentation media, website design, and event audio/video. Previously worked for Apple at the Fair Oaks retail store, and was Vice President for L&M Production Design Group.


Debbie JonesDebbie Jones, Resource and Technology Specialist

Debbie came to NVRC in January 1995 and is most often the first point of contact for NVRC. Debbie answers consumer questions such as where to find audiologists, Sign Language classes, interpreters or support groups. She is also in charge of the Demonstration Room, and is the person to talk to about assistive devices and technology for people with hearing loss. Additionally, Debbie provides technology trainings to individuals with hearing loss, as well as outreach trainings for businesses, agencies and organizations who work with deaf and hard of hearing people.


Bonnie O’LearyBonnie O'Leary, Certified Hearing Loss Support Specialist, Outreach Manager

Bonnie joined NVRC in January of 2002, focusing on outreach to senior citizens who have hearing loss and education for hearing families, caregivers and supervisors.  She completed her two-year certification as a Peer Mentor and Certified Hearing Loss Support Specialist at Gallaudet University in 2007.  A late-deafened adult, Bonnie has led the development of NVRC's 3-part outreach series for seniors, "I Can't Hear You!", and applies her own personal experience with hearing loss to her outreach work.  She also co-created the "Miscommunication or Missed Communication?" workshop teaching communication strategies for families and caregivers.  During her "hearing" years, Bonnie worked in advertising in New York and London and owned a 24-track recording studio in Burke, Virginia.  She has two grown children, a passion for cats, and enjoys all forms of needle arts, cooking, and Scrabble.


Leah Atwa

Leah Atwa, Program Manager Interpreting and Transliterating Services

Leah joined NVRC November 2016 as the part-time Interpreting program coordinator. Leah is a native northern Virginia interpreter for more than 10 years. She handles most of our in house interpreting needs. Leah works with our customers to process interpreting requests to our amazing interpreting team.

Contact Leah with any questions related to our interpreting services.