DIRECTOR AT LARGE - Diana Abayeva (2019-2021)
Diana is new to Metro RID as a board member but definitely not new to the community. She has seen it all as a social worker and as a pre-certified Deaf interpreter.
She was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to flying hands. Moved to NYC at age four along with her Deaf family. You can say she is really a New Yorker. After graduating from Long Island University with a degree in Psychology, Diana quickly signed up for audiology related courses at Marymount Manhattan College. She studied linguistics, phonetics, speech science, and the like. She immersed herself into the auditory world as it was fascinating for her- and she also hoped to be a Deaf audiologist. However the universe had different plans for her.
While working for FEGS (formerly NYSD), Diana began exploring the role of a Deaf Interpreter. She took several workshops and felt it was her true calling. Diana began interpreting for the community in the summer of 2014. The more she interpreted, the more she loved it. After taking the Deaf Interpreter Conference II in Pennsylvania, Diana knew it was time to make it official. She decided to pursue for the certification and passed the knowledge exam. She plans to take the performance exam when the time comes.
Currently, Diana works full time at New York Foundling with an incredible team, making a difference in every family with deaf members. Diana continues to interpret on a regular basis in the community, working with some of the best ASL and Deaf interpreters.
Being in the social work field for approximately seven years, Diana is familiar with most resources in NYC and also sees the gaps in the community in terms of accessibility, equality, and Deaf rights. She is very involved in the community and often collaborates with many professionals (including lawyers, mental health providers, activists, and so on). As a board member, Diana is eager to work with the team and make noises in the community, no matter how big or small!
Fun facts: Diana knows Russian Sign Language and is currently learning Israeli SL; She is an adrenaline junkie; In her downtime, Diana enjoys baking and reading a GOOD book.
You can contact Diana at DirectorAtLarge3@nycmetrorid.org