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In 2022, the DeafBlind League of New Jersey celebrated 40 years of friendship, support and fellowship! We've come a long way since our inception in September 1982 at an American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) national conference. At that time, Mr. Robert "Bob" Heller brought together a group of people who were deafblind, some family members and those interested in deafblindness (today we would refer to these dedicated people as SSPs) for a discussion and a vote to establish an organization in New Jersey. The new organization would hold monthly meetings for the purpose of bringing people together to socialize and to ensure that everyone, regardless of their communication needs, would be able to participate in their communities without hindrance or prejudice.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Bob whose inspiration became a reality. Thank you, Bob, for your faith in New Jersey's deafblind community and for establishing an organization where we could come together, enjoy each other's company, support each other and share ideas. Bob: You would be so proud that we are still going strong after 40 years. You are sorely missed but will never be forgotten. (Bob passed away in 1988.)

Officers & Board 

Tamilah Alexander, President
Mark Gasaway, Vice President
Barbara Russ Smith, Recording Secretary
Dawn Brady, Corresponding Secre
Jon Gabry, Treasurer
Mark Gasaway, Parliamentarian
John Benoit, Member-At-Large
Fonda Diamond-Levine, Member-At-Large


The purpose of the DeafBlind League of New Jersey is to ensure that individuals who have varying amounts of vision and hearing have support, socialization, information sharing and meetings to attend throughout the year. It is the goal of the organization to seek additional resources necessary, through fundraising and donations, so members may attend events at a minimal cost.  Through this mission, members become more confident, independent, share mutual high spirits, and enjoy attending recreational and social activities.
In Memory: Members & Friends
Candle with flowers

Philip DiMaio, friend (2023)

Urbano Aponte, friend (2022)

Chester "Chet" Gares, member (2022)

Elida "Lee" Gares, past President/Vice President (2021)*

Margaret "Margie" Reis (2020)*

Melvin Bell, member (2015)* 

Saul Schiff, Past President (2004)*

Genevieve "Jennie" Linfante, past Board Member (2012)*

Robert "Bob" Heller, member (1988)*

*Founding Member of DBLNJ

Past Presidents & Vice Presidents     
PresidentVice President  
2018-2021    Kevin MunnLaura Muchnick
Tamilah Alexander
2014-2016    Kevin Mun
nBob Isakower
   Laura Muchnick

Elida GaresAndrew Rees
2010-2012    Elida GaresAndrew Rees
2008-2010    Andrew ReesBob Isakower
2006-2008    Andrew ReesBob Isakower
2004-2006    Christine HinesAndrew Rees
2002-2004    Bob IsakowerElida Gares
2000-2002    Bob IsakowerChristine Hines
1998-2000    Jim DoughertyBob Isakower
1996-1998    Jim DoughertyBob Isakower
1994-1996     Elida GaresJim Dougherty
1992-1994     Elida GaresJim Dougherty
1990-1992     Ann SchwartzElida Gares
1988-1990     Margaret Reis Elida Gares
1986-1988     Agatha MunnMargaret Reis
1984-1986     Agatha MunnMargaret Reis
1982-1984     Saul Schiff    Agatha Munn  

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