Notable Interpreters from Region I (Part 1)

Celeste Owens, NIC, NAD V, New York

Celeste S. Owens-Samuels, a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) is a native of New York City who served as a community advocate, sign language interpreter and community organizer for 30+ years. She presently holds (NADV) certification with National Association of the Deaf and (NIC) with Registry Interpreters for the Deaf. A committed advocate for Black Deaf and Black Interpreters. Celeste founded several organizations and served in numerous roles over the last 30 years. Several years ago Black interpreters were few in numbers. Celeste’s concerns for increasing the numbers locally and nationally, led to the formation of the NYC chapter of the National Alliance of Black Interpreters (NAOBI-NYC). She served as President of the local NYC Chapter and then was elected as Vice President for NAOBI National. Celeste, also founded Stuyvesant Association for the Deaf (SAD). An organization established to provide social, cultural and recreational activities. She also was key in assisting with the establishment of NYC Black Deaf Advocates chapter (NYCBDA). Where she served as a board member and board chair. To address issues on education, employment and lack of services in the Black Deaf community. She then was elected to serve as assistant Executive Director and Acting Executive Director for National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA). A position held by the only hearing person since its inception.Celeste also founded NYC Deaf & HH Parents Association, CODAs of Color and most recently a summer camp program for KODAS (Kids of Deaf Adults) of Color. Supporting Deaf families, CODAS and Interpreters will forever be a passion for Celeste.