Ryan Orlick Simka (pronouns: She/Her) was born and raised in Northern Virginia (Go Nats and Caps) in a hearing family. She is Deaf and a native user of American Sign Language with some familiarity with cued language. She graduated from Gallaudet University with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Studies.
In her college years, Ryan worked at a small camp in Pennsylvania as a Program Assistant and Program Director for three summers. She had a wonderful experience working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing campers and their hearing siblings. She also volunteered as a coach at MDO Deaf Youth Sports Festival for two summers.
Ryan is beyond excited to be part of the VALIDEAF team and looks forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge with families and children, because she wants to make sure that no one feels isolated or without supportive knowledge like her parents were after learning she was deaf.
Ryan resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her beautiful wife and two furkids- Yoda and Watson. She has worked as a full-time employee for more than ten years for a federal agency. She enjoys sudoku puzzles, traveling, reading, and quality time with her family.