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2013-2015 NBDA Executive Board Biographies

Patrick Robinson - President Elect
Alabama

Born and raised in Prattville, Alabama, Patrick Robinson attended public school before enrolling at the Alabama School for the Deaf where he graduated in 1986.  He was president of numerous student activities and graduated as the top academic student in his class.  He was also the recipient of the Montgomery, Alabama Quota Scholarship Award as well as the Johnson Hall Scholarship Award.

Upon graduating high school, he went on to attend Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.  He was involved with the Gallaudet Women’s Basketball team’s student coach and scorekeeper for three years.  He was involved in various groups He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Communication Arts in 1991.

Returning to the Alabama School for the Deaf, in Talladega, Alabama he worked as a dormitory counselor, a psychological counselor assistant, a substitute teacher, an assistant coach for the varsity girls’ basketball team, and girl’s varsity volleyball coach.  The basketball team won the National Championship two years straight during his time with them. He then moved to Montgomery, Alabama to serve as an adjustment counselor at Janice Capilouto Center for the Deaf for two years. 

Presently, he holds a Masters of Science degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland.  He resides in Talladega, Alabama with his wife Marvice, a two-time deaf Olympian from South Carolina and their two children Amber and Camisha.  For the last 10 years , he is work coordinator/transition teacher and head boy’s basketball coach at the Alabama School for the Deaf.  He is now held a position as the Director of Talladega Regional Center.

Among his many awards and accomplishments, he has been named Coach of the Year by Deaf Digest in 2009 and 2011, Talladega County Volleyball Coach of the Year 1995, 1996 and 1998, received the President Grant Award from the Alabama School for the Deaf in 1996, Most Dedicated and Outstanding Lady Warrior Basketball Coach of the Year in 1992, Black Deaf Student Union officer 1989-1990, and AT&T Relay Service Board member 1995-1998, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, student government and Kappa Sigma Fraternity just to name a few.

His current affiliations include Alabama School for the Deaf Alumni Association, Gallaudet University Alumni Association Chapter of Alabama, Gallaudet University Alumni Association Board member at Large, Alabama Association for the Deaf, Alabama Government Taskforce Committee on Mental Health Services, Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association, Alabama Education Association/National Education Association, and ADRS Deaf Advisory Board.
 

Opeoluwa Sotonwa - Vice President Elect
Kentucky

Opeoluwa Sotonwa is a Nigerian - born attorney. He has been involved in disability rights advocacy since becoming a lawyer in his native Nigeria. He was instrumental in drafting Nigeria’s Disability Rights Bill and has written several literary works focusing on the plight of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in society. Opeoluwa holds a law degree from the University of Ilorin and received a LLM (Master of Laws) from the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., with concentrations on International Comparative Law and Disability Rights Law.

Opeoluwa Sotonwa currently works at Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  In recognition of his exceptional service to the people of Kentucky, he was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Steven L. Beshear in 2011. He lives in Lexington, with his beautiful wife, Olatokunbo, and son, Olukonyinsola. A die-hard fan of Chelsea Football (Soccer) Club, he enjoys playing Scrabble at his leisure time. You can follow him on Twitter @ColonelOpe,

Betty Henderson - Treasurer Elect
Pennsylvania

Betty M Henderson is a mail processing & distribution operations supervisor, for the U.S. Postal Service in Philadelphia, PA.   She has been a long-time member and supporter of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) and its Philadelphia chapters.  As a member of the Philadelphia Black Deaf Advocates, she has been an active advocate; giving seminars and workshops throughout the community.   Betty has served many positions on both the local and the NBDA, in the past;  locally - local member, on the Board, President, Vice President, alternate chapter representative, Secretary and Parliamentarian; and NBDA - Vice President, Nominating committee, Pageant Coordinator.  She was part founder of the Houston Black Deaf Advocates (Houston, Texas), her native city. In addition, she served on several advisory councils & committees, was members of, such as: PA Office for the Deaf and hard of Hearing (Advisory Council for the Deaf and HOH) briefly, PA Society for the Advancement of the Deaf (PSAD), Silent Society Club for the Deaf (SSCP), Texas School for the Deaf Alumni (TSDA), and Texas School for the Blind, Deaf & Orphan Alumni (BDOA).

Betty was appointed Board member and National Regional Treasurer on the NBDA board. She oversees the regional funds, and serves as a bookkeeper, check writer, and financial consultant to each region.

For many years she loves to travel, read comic books (Betty, Archie, Jughead, Veronica), listen to God’s word and watch Deaf Missions’ videos.

Donald Tinsley, Sr. - Secretary Appointee
Indiana

Donald has retired from Indiana Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) and an alumnus of the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD).  He attended National Technology Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and later received an Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Currently, I am a part time ASL instructor.
  
In 1992 Donald founded the Indianapolis Chapter of the Black Deaf Advocates and served as its first president from 1994 to 1996. The new chapter grew from 25 to 45 members during his term.  He also served as Editor-in-Chief for NBDA’s quarterly newsletter, NETWORK, from 1994 to 1997. From 1999 to 2002, he served as Treasurer of National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA). His responsibilities included preparing budgetary reports, fundraising, and processing memberships. He enjoyed the challenges of being involved in a national organization and in 1998, he chaired 16th NBDA Conference in Indianapolis. The conference brought in over 300 attendees, including a contingent of ISD students.  Donald was in the NBDA spotlight in 2003 and in 2005, he was recognized by the National Black Deaf Association (NBDA) for his accomplishments.

In 1999, Donald was elected Vice President of the Indiana Association of the Deaf (IAD). In April 2003, he made history at the IAD’s biennial conference, when he was elected its first Black President, where he served for 2 years (2003 – 2005). He also has been a member of IAD’s Board of Directors and continues to volunteer for Deaf community.

Donald has served on various other committees and has received numerous awards. Some of these awards include the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) 2006 Robert Greenmun Award for his excellence in leadership and contributions to the IAD, “Deaf Person of the Month” in Deaf Life Magazine in May 2006 and the Richard Kennedy Award for exemplifying good citizenship, volunteerism and service to the Deaf Community for more than 10 years in 2011. 

Currently, Donald serves as Vice-President of Indy Signetic Group (ISG), which displays the interpreting skills of interpreters working in the Deaf community through collaboration, continuous study and professional development.  Donald received the 2012 Distinguished Leadership Award for extraordinary contribution to advocacy was presented by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. In 2013 he also received Congressional recognition in honor and appreciation of contribution to the Deaf Community in Indianapolis.

 

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