Pacific DB Liaisons


Photo: Chelsea Mori-Phillip

Chelsea Mori Phillip
Ranannim! I have just recently began my career as a Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) in my homeland, Chuuk. My experience with deaf blind children is just beginning. So, it is my hope and vision as a new deaf blind liaison to be learning more through this collaboration in order to be able to better serve my people of Chuuk.


Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Photo: Lizelle Amirez

Lizelle Amirez
Hafa Adai! and I represent the Northern Mariana Islands. I have been a special education teacher for 13 years now. I have just completed a 4 year graduate course in vision studies with certification for O&M from UMASS, Boston. I am currently easing into my new role as the TVI/COMS. I have not had much experience with deaf-blind children. My only experiences include what I was exposed to during my recent graduate work such as: videos, articles,  strategies, and did a lot of research in order to complete assignments based on this specific population.

By being a part of this project, I hope to learn more about the specific needs of this population and the strategies used to address those needs. I want to be better prepared in supporting this unique population, their parents, and their educational teams by ensuring that appropriate supports and interventions are provided.


American Samoa

Photo: Olive Loane-Isaako

Olive Ioane-Isa’ako
Talofa Lava! Greetings from the islands of American Samoa. My name is I am currently the Visual Impairment Education Specialist for the VI Program with the Division of Special Education, ASDOE. To make a long list of roles and responsibilities short, I am the Resource Specialist for our VI team which consist of four certified TVIs, myself included. In addition to being a TVI, I collaborate with inter agencies that assist people with disabilities to enhance public awareness on VI platforms. A member of disciplinary teams for IEPs, and just being a VI professional that is willing to collaborate with anyone, parents especially, to enhance services for our students with visual impairments in American Samoa.


Republic of the Marshall Islands

Photo: Anida Timothy

Anida Timothy
I was born and raised on Majuro, Marshall Islands. I am the youngest of nine. My (our) deceased parents have left us with the ideal thought that when helping others it is one our biggest achievement in life. So, we have adjust to things that are hard to get but learned accept with smile knowing the other person is safe and happy. That’s how I have come to love my job. I started working with the special education since 1994. From the very first day I was amazed to meet blind and deaf kids, whom I never thought we had on the Marshall Islands. At first I was speechless, I didn’t know what to do, and all I did was starred and watch how the blind boy walked around the classroom without any walking Kane or anyone. But when it was time to writing and reading for the blind I was more surprised when he started too typed with his Perkin Braille. After he typed, he then pull out his paper and started reading what he wrote.



Photo: Diane Artero

Diane Artero
Hafa Adai! I am a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment for the Guam Department of Education. I have been a teacher for 17 years. As a teacher I have taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. I also served as a Direct Instruction Curriculum Coordinator for grades K-5th, during 6 of the 17 years. This year, I received my Masters Degree in TVI from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

This year, is my second year working with students with visual impairments, deaf and hard of hearing and multiple disabilities. I teach my students who are blind and deaf-blind Braille literacy, to read tactile graphics, and Orientation and Mobility. My students who are deaf-blind also receive services for tactile sign language from the deaf and hard of hearing program.

The most challenging part of providing the services needed for my deaf-blind students is communication. I am hoping to learn how to better communicate with my students who are deaf-blind and to expand my skills in tactile signing. I would also like to learn new strategies for teaching my students independence and the value of participating in recreational activities.

A fun fact about me is that I enjoy outdoor sports and activities. I believe the reason I enjoy the outdoors so much is because I am the only female in a house of 5 males: my husband, 3 teenagers, and 1 elementary age boy. My weekends are filled with running to football games, soccer games and wrestling competitions. I also participate in the FIFA Guam Mom’s Soccer League. I spend lots of time with my family in the outdoors, we love camping, fishing, swimming, water skiing, and riding bikes and motorbikes too.



Photo: Roddy Robert

Roddy Robert
I am the Print Disabilities Specialist on the island of Pohnpei. I am very fond of working with students with disabilities. We mainly on the project initiated by Guam CEDDERS focus on the students with cerebral palsy, students with physical impairments, students with visual impairments including total blindness and students with deaf-blindness. What I am targeting for the past few years until now are the students with visual impairments including total blindness. So I am really looking forward to working with students who are deaf-blind and students with specific learning disabilities.

To wrap it all up, I would say I am fond of students with disabilities because I am also disabled. I have low vision but I like using computers and when I use computers, my face almost touch the monitor like I am deeply observing an interesting thing like a scientist.


Republic of Palau

Photo: Jocelyn Maldangesang

Jocelyn Maldangesang
Alii from Palau! I am an Education Specialist providing consultation and related services specifically to teachers and faculty at the secondary education level. Since the time I started working in the field of Special Education, I had only spent one semester teaching a student with multiple disabilities, including both hearing and visual impairments. The student relies heavily on tactile communication. Thank you, HPDB project! You are a blessing to the islands!

  • Ideas that Work: U.S. Office of Special Education Programs

    The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H326T130023. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Susan Weigart.

  • Contact Us

    Mellanie Lee
    Project Director/Education Specialist
    Pacific Outreach Initiative
    Phone: (808) 753-0981

    Jennifer Tarnay
    Program Coordinator/Speech-Language Pathologist
    Phone: (808) 753-2351

    Stella Chang
    Family Specialist
    Phone: (808) 222-8466