Case Management & Advocacy Staff

Photo of Ariele Belo

Ariele Belo

Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Ariele is a native of Seattle and alumna of the Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center’s Parent-Infant Program (a birth to three program for Deaf & Hard of Hearing children and their families).  She received her Bachelor of Science in Leisure Studies and Recreation from California Sate University and a Contract Management Certificate from the University of Washington.…Read More

Ariele is a native of Seattle and alumna of the Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center’s Parent-Infant Program (a birth to three program for Deaf & Hard of Hearing children and their families).  She received her Bachelor of Science in Leisure Studies and Recreation from California Sate University and a Contract Management Certificate from the University of Washington.

Since joining HSDC, she has graduated from Project LEAD (Leadership Effectiveness and Diversity), a United Way of King County program which “aims to increase the representation of people of color on nonprofit boards and in other positions of community leadership in King County.”

Ariele has held the position of Director of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services at HSDC for since 2002. She supervises staff within the program in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellingham.

Photo of Joel Bergsbaken

Joel Bergsbaken

Program Coordinator, North Sound

Joel Bergsbaken has degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling/Deaf Studies and Linguistics and was a Graduate Research Fellow with Gallaudet University Linguistics Department. He worked for years at the Arizona School for the Deaf and as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf with the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Joel also currently works as a Guardian ad Litem for Whatcom County Superior Court and volunteers as a mediator for the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center.…Read More

Joel Bergsbaken has degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling/Deaf Studies and Linguistics and was a Graduate Research Fellow with Gallaudet University Linguistics Department. He worked for years at the Arizona School for the Deaf and as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf with the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Joel also currently works as a Guardian ad Litem for Whatcom County Superior Court and volunteers as a mediator for the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center. He brings a passion for collaboration and communication to his work. In his spare time he loves to run trails, swim lakes, road bike, and play music with friends. Joel appreciates all life has to offer, especially new challenges, the outdoors, and the simple pleasures of time with loved ones and great local food. Despite appearances he can easily eat twice as much as you…seriously. Invite him to your dinner party if you don’t like leftovers.

Photo of James Christianson Jr.

James Christianson Jr.

Client Advocate, North Sound

Dino received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Industrial Design (ID) at College of Imagine Arts and Science (CIAS), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). After he graduated in 2000, he was looking for ID jobs while he was working for Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. as Sales Associate to sell ASL books, TTYs,…Read More

Dino received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Industrial Design (ID) at College of Imagine Arts and Science (CIAS), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). After he graduated in 2000, he was looking for ID jobs while he was working for Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. as Sales Associate to sell ASL books, TTYs, ILY novelties. With no luck in finding ID jobs,  he ended up getting a promotion as a Client Advocate.  In 2004, he moved to Bellingham and got a Client Advocate position at the North Sound HSDC office which was first opened on October 1, 2004. He enjoys working with clients to achieve their challenging goals.

Dino has a passion to contribute his leadership to the statewide organization, Washington State Association of the Deaf, and the local social club, Northwest Washington Community of the Deaf, being members of both organizations since 2005.  He also has contributed his leadership and support to Deaf Teen Leadership camp at Cispus Learning Center in Randle since 2009. He believes in Lily Tomlin’s quote, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was that somebody.” Besides his community leadership, Dino always cherishes his quality time with his two silly daughters and wonderful wife. He loves riding his bike, reading books, and recreational hiking.

Photo of Buddy Elledge

Buddy Elledge

Interim Program Assistant for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Buddy moved to Seattle at the budding age of 12. He obtained his Bachelor's degree graphic design in 2009 at the Art Institute of California in Santa Monica. Currently, Buddy works as a freelance graphic designer. He works for several deaf-owned firms, such as Deaf Spotlight (www.deafspotlight.com) and Deaf Friendly (www.deaffriendly.com…).Read More

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Buddy moved to Seattle at the budding age of 12. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree graphic design in 2009 at the Art Institute of California in Santa Monica.
Currently, Buddy works as a freelance graphic designer. He works for several deaf-owned firms, such as Deaf Spotlight (http://www.deafspotlight.com) and Deaf Friendly (http://www.deaffriendly.com).

When away from his desk, Buddy wastes no time traveling all over the world in search for new inspiration to feed his creative and curious spirit.

Photo of Jim House

Jim House

Communication Specialist

Jim House is a Communication Specialist at Hearing, Speech, and Deaf Center (HSDC - Seattle) focusing on communications technologies and acquisition of critical information needed to preserve or improve the quality of life. He is also involved in several consumer/civic/industry forums and coalitions covering access issues with captioning, emergency communications and in mobile, text and video telecommunications.…Read More

Jim House is a Communication Specialist at Hearing, Speech, and Deaf Center (HSDC – Seattle) focusing on communications technologies and acquisition of critical information needed to preserve or improve the quality of life. He is also involved in several consumer/civic/industry forums and coalitions covering access issues with captioning, emergency communications and in mobile, text and video telecommunications. As a result of his ongoing leadership and community involvement, Portland, Oregon passed a captioning activation ordinance requiring all television sets in public places to display captions during business hours.

Prior to HSDC, Jim has been an advocate of various disability rights issues for more than 25 years on the national, local, and state levels. Some of Jim’s far-reaching achievements during his tenure at Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI), include witnessing the enactment of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) at the White House, numerous presentations on consumer advocacy, television and Internet captioning issues. He also wrote successful grant proposals, some resulting in more than $3M in federal funding to develop emergency preparedness training programs and other projects. He has been involved in planning for publications, conferences and workshops. In 1987, he was a key player in the establishment of the first real-time local news captioning service in Washington, DC on its ABC affiliate, WJLA TV-7.

Photo of Thu-Ha Le

Thu-Ha Le

Client Advocate, South Sound

Thu-Ha earned her associates degree at Tacoma Community College and then transferred to the University of Washington in Tacoma where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is profoundly Deaf and has lived in Tacoma a majority of her life. She enjoys being involved in Deaf community activities as well as volunteering at several different organizations such as Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services and Sound Mental Health.…Read More

Thu-Ha earned her associates degree at Tacoma Community College and then transferred to the University of Washington in Tacoma where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is profoundly Deaf and has lived in Tacoma a majority of her life. She enjoys being involved in Deaf community activities as well as volunteering at several different organizations such as Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services and Sound Mental Health. In her spare time, she enjoys doing arts and crafts.

Photo of Devin Myers

Devin Myers

Communications Specialist, South Sound

Devin is a proud Washington native with a moderate to severe hearing loss. He is a recent graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor's in the Community, Environment, and Planning program and Anthropology with a minor in Environmental Studies. After graduation, Devin spent years working with the homeless population in Seattle advocating and supporting their needs.…Read More

Devin is a proud Washington native with a moderate to severe hearing loss. He is a recent graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s in the Community, Environment, and Planning program and Anthropology with a minor in Environmental Studies. After graduation, Devin spent years working with the homeless population in Seattle advocating and supporting their needs. Devin has also actively been involved in the local hearing loss community by educating, advocating, and supporting others with hearing loss. Devin enjoys running, reading, doing yoga, exploring the outdoors, refereeing basketball, and showing off his wonderful smile.

Photo of Kristy Vess

Kristy Vess

Client Advocate, Seattle Office

Kristy grew up among a family of devoted belles in the suburbs of Hampton, Virginia, where she spent her summers playing outside, eating Southern food, surviving hot asphalt nightmares, and dining on the nectar of hundreds of tiny honeysuckle flowers in her backyard. After graduating from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, Kristy traveled extensively in Southeast Asia.…Read More

Kristy grew up among a family of devoted belles in the suburbs of Hampton, Virginia, where she spent her summers playing outside, eating Southern food, surviving hot asphalt nightmares, and dining on the nectar of hundreds of tiny honeysuckle flowers in her backyard.

After graduating from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, Kristy traveled extensively in Southeast Asia. She worked as a recruiter for Gallaudet for two years and, prior to joining HSDC, as a Program Coordinator at Puget Sound Regional Services, where she supervised homes and directed services to people with developmental disabilities throughout the region. Over the last six years, Kristy’s experience in the field of internal and external communications has led her to believe that the road to success is simply trying your best.