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October 6, 2006

Hamilton Relay Recognizes Leader in Maine

From: Hamilton Relay - Oct 6, 2006

In honor of Deaf Awareness Week, Hamilton Relay is pleased to recognize Michael P. Ralph as the 2006 Deaf Leader for the State of Maine.

Michael hails from Ridley Park, PA, a suburb of the Greater Philadelphia area. He attended the Archbishop Ryan Memorial Institute for the Deaf. In 1978, Michael graduated from Gallaudet College (now known as Gallaudet University in Washington, DC) with his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. In 1980, Michael earned his Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology, again from Gallaudet. In 1981, he earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Standing in School Psychology specializing in Deafness.

Michael has been a psychologist for 25 years. His first job was as School Psychologist at South Dakota School for the Deaf from 1981 to 1984. During his early days in South Dakota, he served on the Mayor’s Disability Awareness Commission, as President of the South Dakota Chapter of Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA), and as co-campaign manager for Ben Soukup’s primary race for the state house of representatives.

In 1984, he moved back to his hometown of Philadelphia and accepted a position as School Psychologist at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf working there for the next ten years. In his ten years there, Michael was active in the Deaf community by establishing PenJerDel Chapter of Gallaudet University Alumni Association, and served as its first President. Michael also served as President and board member of the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre. Michael was the founding member of Creative Access and an active member of the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf, as well as the Philadelphia Silent Athletic Club.

After his ten-year stay in Philadelphia, Michael moved to Queens, New York to accept the School Psychologist position at the Lexington School for the Deaf, remaining there for the next eight years. He became active in the New York Theatre Productions as actor and assistant stage manager.

Currently, Michael resides in Portland, Maine where he works as the School Psychological Service provider at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Mackworth Island in Falmouth, Maine. He served as President of the Board of Directors at Maine Center on Deafness. He is an active member of the Maine Association of School Psychologists, and Maine Association of the Deaf. In 2004, Gallaudet University and Quest4Arts selected him as one of three playwrights for the Visual Playwrights Retreat. He was a keynote speaker at Blaine House Tea (Maine Governor’s official residence) to kick off the 2006 Deaf Culture week in September.

This leadership recognition has been brought to you by Hamilton Relay.