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National Deaf Awareness Week: Thomas "Tom" Riggs recognized as the 2009 Deaf/Hard of Hearing leader for the State of New Mexico

December, 23 2009

In honor of National Deaf Awareness Week, Hamilton Relay is pleased to recognize Thomas "Tom" Riggs as the 2009 Deaf/Hard of Hearing Leaders for the State of New Mexico.

Since 2005, Hamilton Relay has been proud to honor individuals in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities during Deaf Awareness Week for their contributions. We have sought out individuals who, through their dedication, have become exemplary contributors, strong positive influences, and leaders in their community.

This year, we are pleased to recognize Thomas "Tom" Riggs as the 2009 Deaf/Hard of Hearing leader for New Mexico.

Tom has been an exemplary leader in the Deaf community through various projects with which he has been involved. Being a Certified Deaf Interpreter, he is dedicated to improving the quality as well as increasing the number of Certified Interpreters in New Mexico. In this regard, Tom is in the process of making changes in the Santa Fe Community College Interpreter Training Program and is working to get the program accredited.

Increasing the number of qualified Sign Language Interpreters is only one of Tom's priorities. In 1999, he was the President of the Colorado Sign Instructors, now known as the American Sign Language Teachers Association of Colorado. This is an organization dedicated to assuring that qualified Sign Language Instructors meet the strict professional standards of the American Sign Language Teacher Association (ASLTA).

Recently, Tom accepted the offer to become the Director of the American Sign Language and Interpreters Program at the Santa Fe Community College. He believes in being a role model through mentoring and supporting students; teaching them to always do their best.

Tom is well recognized and respected in the Deaf community and is an exemplary leader and contributor. He is no stranger to volunteer work and generously offers his time to help others through presentations and support of community activities.

His efforts in ensuring the quality and integrity of Sign Language Interpreting is extremely important in meeting the interpersonal communication needs for individuals who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

It is because of people like Tom Riggs that positive changes happen in communities across the nation. We sincerely appreciate all of his hard work, and it is with great pleasure that we present him with this award.

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

About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including Telecommunications Relay Service, Captioned Telephone and Internet Relay services. Hamilton provides Telecommunications Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 16 states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. More information is available at

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