USH Ambassador for Maryland

Jennifer Bissett

Hi - I'm Jennifer Bissett, the USH Ambassador for Maryland.

I grew up in Pennsylvania but relocated to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2008 for my first teaching job. I met my husband the first day there and never left. It's going on fifteen years and we still enjoy all that Maryland Shore has to offer - its close proximity to Deleware and Virginia, and the amazing people who make it feel like home. 

I adored working in the school systems of Maryland and taught every grade at the elementary level with pre-kindergarten being my favorite. I left education as principal of a Maryland elementary school in 2019 to stay at home with my first-born son. Since then, my husband and I have expanded our family. I currently stay home with my three small, beautiful, and loving children, ages 4, 2, and 1. Our youngest boy was born in August of 2022, and was diagnosed with Usher syndrome in December of 2022. Having never heard of Usher, its types, or the people’s lives it alters, it became our family’s mission to make the world the best place possible for our son and those like him.

You may contact me at:

Resources for Maryland

  • The USH Trust is the largest international contact database of individuals with Usher syndrome. Created and maintained by the Usher Syndrome Coalition, it is our most powerful tool to connect and inform individuals living with Usher worldwide. The USH Trust allows us to get to know and serve the community better, and to do what we do best: identify, build, support, and connect the community, both within the Usher community and with the research community. We do this via email, telephone, videophone, social media, webinars, local social events, our USH Connections Conference, and the many resources on our website. Come, join us!

  • Individuals with Usher syndrome who are passionate about research have a new data collection platform to join. The Usher Syndrome Data Collection Platform, or USH DCP, is hosted by RARE-X, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating research. By entering your health information into this secure platform, you will become part of a global database of de-identified information available to researchers worldwide. That means that only you can see your data. Only you can change your data. Your personal information (name, date of birth, address, etc.) will not be shared without your permission. As the DCP grows, more researchers will become aware of Usher syndrome. This can lead to the development of clinical trials, new treatments, and new therapies. YOU hold the key to unlocking future research discoveries.

  • Connections Beyond Sight and Sound is a partnership between the Maryland State Department of Education and the University of Maryland, College Park. This project supports Maryland and DC children and young adults with deafblindness in their homes, schools, and communities by providing consultation, training, special programs, resources, and technical assistance to children and their families and providers.

  • Program and services for youth and adults with combined vision and hearing loss.

  • Provides free telecommunication evaluation, equipment, and training to children and adults with significant vision and hearing loss who qualify. iCanConnect is a national program authorized under the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

  • The Jewish Deafblind community from across North America and Israel gather in Baltimore, MD to experience a fully accessible traditional Shabbat weekend and socialize with new and old friends.

  • A national volunteer organization created to empower the voices of families of individuals who are deaf-blind and to advocate for their unique needs.