Welcome to the USDB Advisory Council. The purpose of the Council is to advise the USDB Superintendent and Associate Superintendents regarding the needs of Utah children who are deaf, blind, and deaf-blind. Advisory Council meetings are held at least ten times per year and are open to the public.
Join the Advisory Council. There are openings for new members on the council at this time. The deadline to apply is July 21. The current terms will begin in August 2023. We are looking for individuals who meet the following criteria.
- Blind or Visually impaired adult (2 open positions)
- Deaf or Hard of hearing adult (1 open position)
- Parent of a deafblind child (1 open position)
- Interest or knowledge of deaf, blind or deafblindness (2 open positions)
Advisory Council Leadership
Chair Jared Allebest
Jared Allebest was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Laguna Hills, California. He went to an oral school at Kaiser Elementary in Costa Mesa. He later attended University High School in Irvine, California which was a magnet school for Deaf and Hard of Hearing high school students. Jared learned ASL at University High and later went on a Sign Language mission for the LDS Church in Rochester, New York. After his mission, he went to Brigham Young University he graduated from BYU with a BA in English. A year later, he attended law school at Thomas Jefferson of School of Law in San Diego, California. He graduated in 2009 with a J.D. and moved to Utah to practice law. Jared opened up his own law practice, Allebest Law Group, and began representing both hearing and deaf clients on a wide variety of legal matters. He specialized in the following areas of law: family law, estate planning, business law, discrimination law, and Deaf Rights. He is currently working for Goldman Sachs and is the Co-Chair for Loop Utah, an ongoing advocacy campaign dedicated to educating Utah venues about the many benefits of hearing loop technology, which delivers sound directly to an individual’s telecoil-equipped hearing aid or cochlear implant and gives the Hard of Hearing (HoH) community the enriched experience they deserve in venues across the state of Utah. He has visited 27 countries around the world. email@example.com Jared’s news story.
Jared Allebest represents the Council as a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Adult.
Vice-Chair, Ray Wright
Ray Wright is originally from Southern California where he grew up with his two sisters that were both born profoundly deaf. At the age of 22, he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa and found out he was legally blind. He continued his work in the Motion Picture Exhibition field as a Theatre Manager, Promotions Coordinator, Company Photographer, and Graphic Designer. In 2001, Ray became totally blind and received blindness training in Northern California at the Orientation Center for the Blind. It was there he was introduced to woodworking as a blind individual. After his training, he was elected to the Board of Directors at the Vista Center for the Blind in Palo Alto, California where he remained until
he moved to Utah in 2007. Ray became a student at DSBVI in 2008 where he focused on honing his blindness skills including advancing his woodworking knowledge. After graduating, he started his own woodworking business and continued to study, practice, and demonstrate alternative approaches to non-visual woodworking techniques on a state and national level. Ray has entered his wooden creations in juried art exhibits in several states. He has won many blue ribbons for his designs. In the Utah State Fair, he won Best of Show awards two consecutive years in a row. Ray continues to own and operate his woodworking business and is currently the woodshop instructor at the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Salt Lake City where he is able to ”pay-it-forward” and teach and share his passion for woodworking. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Wright represents the Council as someone with Interest or Knowledge of Deaf, Blind, and/or Deaf-Blind.
Advisory Council Members
Philippe Montalette of Utah is a data analyst for Sorenson Communications and has been with the company for over 12 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix. He is currently treasurer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) as 3rd term. He is a former president of the Utah Association of the Deaf (UAD). Montalette’s passion is working with and raising funds for various local non-profit organizations like UAD and Sego Lily Center for the Abused Deaf. He strongly believes in partnerships with different organizations. He has enjoyed hosting ASL Films movies in Salt Lake City and St. George for a few years. Montalette, who was born in Paris, France, and spent his childhood in New York City and London, England, enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with his family. Montalette is married to Yvonne. email@example.com
Philippe Montalette represents the council as a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Adult.
Kari grew up in Ogden, UT- benefiting from a rich childhood and all Ogden has to offer. Kari graduated from Weber State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and PR and currently works at a Utah-based tech company, Pluralsight. During her tenure at Pluralsight, Kari has worked with international authors and helped in managing social media coverage of Pluralsight LIVE: including covering keynote speeches from Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai. Kari has also authored her own Pluralsight course: Understanding Ableism in the Workplace. Kari is mom to an awesome USDB student, Sloan, who is diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome and profoundly DeafBlind. Through an extremely challenging few years of change and loss for her family, Kari believes there truly is healing through advocacy and community engagement. Kari aims to advocate for disability rights and resources, while learning from the disability community along the way. Kari writes and connects with others through her website Sloan Strength, presented on DeafBlindness and Sloan’s journey to medical professionals at Intermountain Healthcare, has been featured on several webinars and podcasts, and was the recipient of the 2020 Upworthy Lead with Love award. Kari looks forward to serving as a member on the USDB Advisory council with a student actively in the school system, learning from so many of the awesome educators and resources USDB has to offer!
Kari Harbath represents the Council as a Parent of a Deaf-blind Child.
Sundie Goulding received her BS in Psychology at Westminster College, her Master’s in Developmental Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and her Early Childhood Credential and Deaf-blind Endorsement at the University of Utah. She has a lifelong passion for transforming the lives of children with sensory problems, particularly those children with Deaf-blindness. For over 12 years, she has had the privilege of serving in multiple children with Deaf-blindness and their families for The Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. When not with other families, she enjoys spending time with her own family of three girls! All of which keep her busy running from soccer games to dance performances. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sundie Goulding represents the Council as a USDB Teacher of the Blind. This is a non-voting position.
John Clements lost a significant portion of his vision as a young adult. He began what would become a full working career with the Federal Government. He completed his service as a Supervisory Management Program Analyst. He earned a BA in English with a minor in Asian Studies from Weber State University. He is an avid reader, taking full advantage of the opportunity provided by the NLB. He enjoys his family, reading, bike riding, and helping his granddaughter with her Chinese homework. John has embraced technology, integrating it into his life to enhance and enable. email@example.com
John Clements represents the Council as a Blind or Visually Impaired Adult.
Jill Weiss resides in Ogden with her husband and two young children. She grew up in New Jersey and received her B.S in Education from the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She received her master’s degree from Utah State University in Deaf Education with an endorsement in Listening and Spoken Language. Currently, she works for the Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind as a Listening and Spoken Language Kindergarten Teacher. She is also pursuing her Ph.D. in literacy from St. John’s University. In her free time, Jill enjoys snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, trail running, and camping with her family. She serves as a non-voting member of the Advisory Council. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Weiss represents the Council as a USDB Teacher of the Deaf (non-voting position.)
Jennifer (Jen) Hayes received her BS in Social Work from Idaho State University and her Master’s of Education in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education from Utah State University with an emphasis in Deafblindness. She was part of the first cohort of Helen Keller Fellows and a contributor in creating the Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) Intervener Training Modules. As a mother of two deafblind children (one deceased, one living) and two typically developing children, the study of deafblindness has become part of her daily world and reality. Jen enjoys spending time with her family, reading, running, crocheting, knitting, crafting, and blogging. She is a mother, advocate, caregiver, student, and artist with a life-long passion to grow and learn while helping those around her achieve their best self regardless of their perceived limitations. email@example.com
Jen Hayes represents the Council as a Parent of a Deaf-blind Child.
Aunilie is blind. She feels that the most important thing she has learned is the ability to advocate for herself in school, work and social situations. She feels it is very important to give students the skills they need to transition from K-12 education to higher education, trade schools or careers in order to prepare them for adulthood and to become active contributors to their communities. She received her National Certification in Unified English Braille in 2018. Aunilie is currently the Life Skills/Fiber Arts and backup Braille Instructor at the Utah State Services for the Blind and visually Impaired. Aunilie is currently a student at Western Governor’s University in their Bachelor of Business Administration – Human Resource Management program. As a lifelong member of the blind community, Aunilie has gained many skills, heard many perspective’s, and has had many opportunities to observe others in the community. She hopes that her experiences will assist in helping USDB offer the deaf, blind and deaf-blind children of Utah the best possible education and opportunities as they grow up to be productive contributing citizens to society. Ahathaway73@live.com
She represents an individual who is blind or visually impaired for the council.
Ryan Hemming is originally from Highland Utah where he grew up most of his life. He has 3 siblings. He is married to Leslie Hemming and has 4 kids of his own. They currently live in Saratoga Springs Utah. Ryan went to college at Utah Valley University, the University of Utah, and Grand Canyon University. He has an Associates Degree from UVU, a Bachelor Degree and Master Degree from the University of Utah in Occupational Therapy, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Ryan has worked at Alpine school district for 20 years in multiple different responsibilities. He started as a para educator and was then hired as an occupational therapist. He worked for 8 years as an OT prior to working in the special education office as an special services coordinator and Secondary Director of Special Education. He now works as the principal of Dan Peterson school and loves every minute. Ryan worked as the District liaison between USDB and Alpine School District for 7 years. Ryan is excited to work with USDB and be a part of the Advisory Council.
Ryan serves as an Individual with interest or knowledge of Deaf, Blind or Deafblind.
The Advisory Council Currently has no openings at this time.
For more information about the USDB Advisory Council, contact Executive Assistant Tamara Flint firstname.lastname@example.org