In May of 2015, Estill-Varner graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in American Sign Language/English Interpreting and International Studies from the National Institute of the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Shortly after, she was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Research grant to conduct research in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Her project titled “Improving Deaf Access in the DR: Researching Service Deficiencies, Creating an ITP”, collaborated with the Dominican Republic’s National Deaf Association as well as the National Interpreting Association to research service deficiencies and contribute to the ongoing effort of establishing an interpreter training program.
Through her research, she learned of the challenges, concerns, and goals of the community which allowed her to identify shortcomings in interpreting services. Upon completion of her research, she provided the interpreting association with recommendations that would enable interpreters to better serve and empower the Deaf community.
Currently Estill-Varner serves as Discovering Deaf Worlds’ Co-Executive Director where she manages two programs, totaling over one million dollars in U.S. Government funding. Through her role, she provides project oversight and organizational development training and consulting to Deaf organizations in Asia and Latin America. Estill-Varner also has experience in Grant Writing, Monitoring and Evaluation, Fund Development, and more.
In addition to serving as DDW’s Co-Executive Director, Estill-Varner is a nationally certified freelance interpreter in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia metro area providing interpreting services for a variety of federal government agencies, community organizations, and local businesses. Prior to her current freelance work, Estill-Varner has previously worked with RIT’s Department of Access Services providing interpreting services to Deaf students in a variety of disciplines ranging from the arts to the sciences. Additionally, her international development background gives her a uniquely global perspective on interpreting services, advocacy and education.
In her free time, Estill-Varner enjoys exploring and has spent nearly 2 years traveling and living outside of the U.S. When she isn’t working or planning her next adventure, she can be found at the local Latin dance club dancing salsa, bachata, and zouk.