Philip A. Hyssong is a CEO/Owner of Alternative Communication Services and continues to use his 30 plus years of management experience at ACS. Prior to launching ACS, Phil was Executive Director of a media company specializing in Christian media that focused on the needs of people who were Deaf or hard-of-hearing. Further, he held the position of vice president at another CART and captioning company for over 6 years. He holds an undergraduate degree in Education from Concordia University Chicago, a Master's degree in Instructional Design from Northern Illinois University, earned his certification as a Manager of Reporting Services through the National Court Reporters Association and successfully completed the TypeWell training program.
T.J. DiGrazia, Chief Operating Officer for Alternative Communication Services, has over five years’ experience in the CART/Captioning industry. Prior to working at ACS, T.J. worked for a Fortune 5 financial institution as a Credit Analyst. He holds a BA and MBA from National-Louis University. He is on the front line overseeing operations the entire family of companies, including ACS, EduCAPTION, Closed Caption Productions, PostCAP and Home Team Captions. He oversees all operational staff and is still involved in training new clients on how to use the services provided by our companies. He was instrumental in coordinating an interface between our Scheduling Application Management program (SAM) and our internet-based text service, StreamText. T.J. brings a unique combination of authority, knowledge and warmth to the overall operation.
Carmin Beardsley is Operations Manager for Alternative Communication Services bringing over 15 years’ experience in disability services and office management. Carmin holds a degree in Sign Language Interpretation and Deaf Studies working the last 10 years as a Sign Language Interpreter and TypeWell transcriber in Portland, Oregon. Prior to interpreting, Carmin worked as Office Manager for Xerox Corporation where duties included scheduling service technicians and being the first point of contact for clients and corporations. Bringing both skillsets to ACS, she will be coordinating jobs and be a resource for both clients and writers. A born-and-raised Oregonian, Carmin enjoys hiking, jogging and spending time with her son!
Jack Nunn, Prior to joining Alternative Communication Services as an Convention/News coordinator, Jack worked in IT support at both Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and Hunter College. He holds a BA in Urban Studies from Hunter College and currently lives in Idaho. Jack looks forward to being a valuable resource for both clients and writers. Jack is excited to expand his knowledge in the areas of CART, captioning, and text interpreting. On his free time he likes to go hiking and to the beach.
Brook Nunn, CRC is a highly-skilled realtime writer for Alternative Communication Services. She graduated with a degree in closed captioning from Stark State College of Technology. Since then, Brook has provided CART and captioning services for many government agencies and departments in Washington DC. Her experience transcends a variety of venues including universities, courtrooms, conferences, meetings, physicians' offices, and concerts. Brook currently lives in Idaho, and provides remote and on-site services across the United States and Canada. Recently, Brook spent six months traveling the world including: The U.K., Iceland, The U.A.E., Oman, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China. The experience was life changing.
Julie Stone, Chief Financial Officer, first worked with Alternative Communication Services as a Typewell transcriber, developing a deep appreciation for the impact communication access can have on those with hearing loss. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow their business through a careful combination of hard work, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm. Prior to joining ACS, Julie served as a Controller and consultant to several small businesses, bringing with her over a decade of accounting skills. She earned a degree in Business from the University of the Pacific, and now the California native calls Richmond, Virginia home (though she still can’t say “y’all” with conviction). When she’s not bean-counting, Julie enjoys reading, running, and keeping up with an active family.
Stephen H. Clark, CRC, (Certified Realtime Captioner) is the Manager of Home Team Captions, an Alternative Communication Services company based in Washington, DC. In 1985, Steve began his professional career as a court reporter, working in the legal field for 12 years, followed by nine years working as a realtime broadcast captioner. Steve also provides training for new captioners, specializing in sports captioning training. Steve is a professional member of the National Court Reporters Association.
Laurie Reinhardt, CSC, NIC-A is Alternative Communication Services’ Interpreter Coordinator. She works with our clients who desire convention (platform) and classroom sign language interpreting and handles all the details of providing such services. Laurie has built up a strong nation-wide network of interpreting agencies that share our corporate values. She holds multiple sign language interpreter certifications through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and has been active in the interpreting field for more than 30 years. Laurie received a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master Degree from the University of Washington in Fine Arts. Laurie is a founding member of the Association of Visual Language Interpreters in Canada as well as a founding member and co-owner of SignOn, Inc. from 1997-2011.
Becky Bennion is a team member of Alternative Communication Services serving as a Marketing Specialist for all our companies and a Client Services specialist specifically for Home Team Captions, an ACS company, after 4 years of experience as a TypeWell transcriber. She recently graduated from Utah State University where she received her BS in Broadcast Journalism and Organizational Communication. Becky is excited to be a part of the ACS team so she can share her enthusiasm and passion for organization and communication with our clients. Becky currently resides in Massachusetts but grew up in England, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. Becky also enjoys photography, yoga, and the occasional chocolate milkshake.
Zack Means joins Alternative Communication Services as Assistant Operations Manager. After working a variety of odd jobs he decided to put his typing skills and neurotic attention to grammar and spelling to good use. Zack has worked as a TypeWell transcriber for 10 years and is excited to transition into his new role with ACS while continuing to serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. After living all over the Northwest, as well as a brief stay in Albuquerque, he now calls Spokane, WA, home. Zack loves traveling and experiencing different cultures, the outdoors, Brazilian jazz, and photography.
Cindy Fucci, Client Services Specialist brings an extensive background in customer service and business administration to Alternative Communication Services. Prior to ACS, she enhanced the customer experience for private and nonprofit firms through her clear writing and thoughtful approach to operations. She is currently pursuing a degree in English and Business Communication as an undergrad at Harvard Extension School. Cindy’s excited to work at ACS where she can offer her skills as a resource for clients and writers in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Originally from New York, Cindy moved to Montana in 2008 and enjoys hiking the trails with her husband and dog when she’s not reading.
Shanna Baker is a highly-skilled realtime writer for Alternative Communication Services. She graduated with a certificate in court reporting from Alvin Community College in 2007. Since then, Shanna has provided stenographic services for depositions, hearings, city councils, and many other legal-related events. In 2013, she decided to expand her skill set into broadcast captioning. She's spent her time since then providing broadcast captioning for many events, including two Olympics, Sochi and Rio. Shanna currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with her husband, son, and two dogs, but her heart belongs in Texas! She finds great pride in providing her services to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities as it hits very close to home. Her husband, James, is hard-of-hearing due to a kidney disease, so she truly understands how crucial her services are to the consumer.
Rachelle Hayes, Bookkeeper, joined ACS in August 2016. Rachelle brings her bookkeeping experience from the Summit Agency of Nashville where she was also responsible for customer relations and ad design for both the Nashville, TN and Athens, GA markets. She has a degree in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and still calls Middle Tennessee home. She enjoys reading, yard work, traveling, friends and family, and spending special time with her four-year-old daughter.
Clare Pinney is a Client Service Specialist for Alternative Communication Services. She holds a degree in Court and Realtime Reporting from Alfred State College and put those skills to use as a transcriptionist for several years. Before learning stenography, Clare received a degree in Pastry and Baking Arts and has worked in cake shops in three different states, creating beautiful edible treats as well as developing diverse customer service skills. In her free time, Clare likes to spend time with her two dogs, Piper and Jax, try out new crafting projects, exercise, and spend time with her family and friends.
April Prater joins Alternative Communication Services working with Client Support Services and Special Initiatives. Having a child born hard-of-hearing led April to become a C-Print captionist and to assist others in becoming strong speech-to-text service providers. Her 14 years of service include providing real-time services for many organizations and in a variety of settings, presenting at national and regional conferences, and teaching online classes for professionals serving the deaf/hard-of-hearing population. In her spare time, you will normally find her and her husband, Todd, enjoying live theater and musical performances involving their children, Trinton, Thomas, and Melanie.
Krista Cywanowicz joins ACS as a Client Service Specialist. She began volunteering with the Deaf Community and taking sign language classes at the age of 15. Krista now has 10 years of experience as a C-Print captionist and received her degree in Sign Language Interpreting in 2009. She is extremely excited to begin her new role and bring her experience as an IC to the operations side of ACS. Krista is a Cincinnati native and holds her Bengals, Reds, and Florida State Seminoles very near and dear to her heart. She also enjoys working out, cooking, traveling, taking her dog everywhere with her, and is a self-proclaimed foodie.
Zoe Hyssong serves as Social Media Intern for ACS. As a high school student, Zoe knows her way around social media and has decided to put her skills to good use. She assists with the ACS Twitter and Facebook postings. Zoe enjoys managing various sports teams at Glenbard East High School (GEHS). Life goals seem to be focused around health sciences and the entertainment industry. There seems to be no aspirations of taking over for her dad – yet.
Eric Kale, System Administrator, owns and operates Kale IT Solutions, Inc. As an Alternative Communication Services (ACS) team member, Kale IT provides technical support and maintains all website operation and development. Eric has a degree in Network System Administration and holds several Microsoft and Cisco certifications. With his 9 years’ experience as the sole proprietor of Kale IT, he understands the needs of small businesses and provides strong, consistent IT support. When Eric is not behind the computer, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is a Chicagoland native who resides in the Northwestern suburbs with his family and dog.