CEO of NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Principal Investigator, HRSA
CA EHDI LEAD-K Family Services for Early Start Referrals is under new management!
Sept 29, 2022: Sacramento, California – starting October 3, 2022, CA EHDI LEAD-K Family Services has a new manager! Cheryl Bella is no stranger to NorCal! A native of San Francisco Bay Area, Cheryl, born Deaf, started learning sign language at age 2, attended DHH programs at public schools and played softball and soccer. Cheryl graduated with a BA degree in Deaf Studies with Human Services from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). At CSUN, she received the Flame of the Future Award for exemplifying the spirit of harmony between Deaf and hearing people, a trait that she continues to exhibit throughout her professional career and today.
Cheryl began her career with the Telecommunications Relay Industry in various management positions in Operations, Training, Marketing, and Outreach. In 2016, she joined NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, first as Coordinator of Employment Services, and later as a Manager at NorCal’s Interpreting Department. Cheryl is also a long-time Adjunct Assistant Professor, teaching ASL classes at Sacramento City College.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to help shape and make a strong referral system and to work with families, educators and all providers,” said Cheryl Bella.
Cheryl has served as liaison/presenter for NorCal on numerous occasions when meeting with representatives from the healthcare sector, local education agencies deaf and hard of hearing programs, audiologists, and hospital as is looking forward to working with the state agencies whom NorCal collaborates with daily: Department of Developmental Services, Department of Healthcare Services, Department of Education, and the Deaf Access Assistance Programs under CDSS.
“We are thrilled to have Cheryl take the helm to manage the referrals to Early Start programs throughout California”, there are a lot of families who truly value the information received through our program, working with local educators who serve Deaf infants from the start. The EHDI program under the federal HRSA Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program which provides leadership and resources for EHDI systems of care and to stakeholders of California, and I am looking forward to working with her!” remarked Sheri Farinha, CEO, NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing, PI for CA EHDI LEAD-K Family Services.
Cheryl has always been a part of Deaf Community on both personal and professional levels. She co-founded DeafHope (www.deaf-hope.org/about-deafhope/), coordinated several ASL Celebrations at the Capitol, served as CAD (California Association for the Deaf) conference chair, co-directed NorCal’s Camp Grizzly for Deaf/Hard of Hearing/KODA kids (www.campgrizzly.org/about/ ) and implemented an annual career fair at NorCal, bringing employers to meet and hire potential Deaf/hard of hearing job candidates. During college, Cheryl provided childcare for Deaf children and their siblings while their parents attended support group meetings and went to families’ homes to teach sign language through the TRIPOD DHH Model School Program in Burbank.
A proud mom to two beautiful CODA daughters who are now in college, Cheryl enjoys spending quality time with her family, reading, scrapbooking, playing games, and watching movies during her spare time. Anyone who knows Cheryl knows she is a devoted sports mama who never misses a game!
To the LEAD-K Family Services program, Cheryl brings her teaching experience, her management acumen and her passion for Deaf children and their families. She looks forward to both meeting and working with LEAD-K Family Services team and partners. To learn more about the valuable services provided by LEAD-K Family Services, see: www.leadkfamilyservices.org
NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- 4044 N Freeway Blvd
- Sacramento, CA 95834
- (916) 367-0511
- (916) 282-2440 Fax