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TLC Announces Emcees, Partners with Bus Door Films for 50th Virtual Celebration

January 29, 2021

The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) is excited to announce it’s 50th Anniversary virtual celebration emcees and video production partner.

Melissa Yingst and Matthew Kohashi will team up to lead the virtual event with special narratives, transitions and stories highlighting the last 50 years of TLC’s history. The event will be in American Sign Language, with interpreting services.  

Matthew Kohashi is the Visual Communications Manager at TLC, a position he has held for two years. He received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Photography from Gallaudet University. An accomplished photo and video editor, Matthew also enjoys offering family portraits for the MetroWest community and beyond. Matthew performed the ASL version of Take Me Out to the Ball Game at the latest Red Sox Deaf and Hard of Hearing Night in September 2019 and recently co-led a statewide media campaign to promote completion of the Census among the Deaf community throughout the Commonwealth. Matthew has two CODA daughters, Lia (4) and Olive (2), and is preparing to welcome a third child this summer. His personal interests include finding good eats with family, collecting sneakers and cooking.

Melissa Yingst earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Gallaudet University and her Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State University. Since then, she held different positions as a social worker and school counselor in New York City and Phoenix. She currently teaches at CSUN and works at Convo as an Outreach Strategist.  She recently completed her terms as a board member for Council de Manos and Deaf Women United, where she worked on numerous projects to dismantle white supremacy practices. She also is the co-founder of Alma de Muxeristas, an organization for muxeristas who are Deaf, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled, Late-Deafened, or Hard of Hearing. She is the star of her online news media program, Melmira. 

In addition, TLC has partnered with Bus Door Films for creative and post production support. Bus Door Films offers everything from public service outreach to documenting Deaf stories. 

Ruan du Plessis and Bradley Gantt bring more than 18 years of video-making experience to Bus Door Films, with extensive knowledge of cinematic techniques, lighting setups, editing, and visual effects. Critically important is knowing how to film American Sign Language in a way that makes the cinematic product accessible to diverse audiences. Most recently, Bus Door Films contributed to the making of Deaf U, which was broadcasted last fall on Netflix. 

TLC’s program on April 10 will celebrate Founder Warren Schwab and the additional individuals, corporations, foundations, and partners that collectively have worked together over these past 50 years to make the organization’s mission possible. Nominations for the Warren Schwab Memorial Award, which will be presented the night of the event, are now being accepted through February 12.