About Us

A Vision of excellence

Established in 1964 on the campus of California State University, Northridge, the NCOD was the first postsecondary program in the nation to provide paid sign language interpreters for deaf students.  Since that time, the program has grown to be one of the largest of its type in the western United States.

While communication access for students is funded by the state of California, many of NCOD's innovative programs and services rely on contributions from individuals and businesses.

As a national model, the NCOD is home to a variety of federal grants that provide outreach and training to educational institutions throughout the country. Located in the NCOD, the Resource Center is one of the largest libraries and clearing houses dedicated to deaf and hard-of-hearing issues in the world. Its online catalog includes 3,500 books, 1,700 videotapes and 58 periodicals in addition to a wide variety of dissertations, scholarly publications and other resources. The Resource Center dissemination center has distributed over 8,834 products since Oct. 2002.

The History Behind the National Center on Deafness

The seeds of the National Center on Deafness (NCOD) were planted more than 50 years ago on the site of the former San Fernando Valley College in Northridge, California. The National Leadership Training Program (NLTP) was established on campus in 1962 by a federal grant to train administrative personnel concerned with rehabilitation of the deaf. NLTP projects introduced innovations in areas such as community information and communication. In 1964, the NLTP admitted its first two deaf students and provided them with interpreters and note-takers for full access to university classes.

By the 1970-1971 academic year, the entire curriculum of the college was opened to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Services provided to ensure accessibility were interpreting, note-taking and tutoring.

The college continued to expand and develop, and on June 1, 1972, by action of the legislature and the Board of Trustees of the CSU, it was renamed California State University, Northridge.

The deaf and hard-of-hearing student population grew steadily during the 1970s, as did the need for qualified interpreters and note-takers. The Center on Deafness was established in 1972 as an administrative coordinating unit for the deaf programs on campus.

At the same time, Campus Services for the Deaf was established as a sub-unit to enable the program to meet student service needs. By 1978, the achievements of the center's alumni and students had begun to have national impact and the name of the Center on Deafness was changed to the National Center on Deafness.

With continued success came the need for a building more consistent with the status and character of the program. 1989 saw the grand opening of Jeanne M. Chisholm Hall, a building generously donated by Grace Petri in memory of her sister. Today, approximately 200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students attend CSUN each semester and register through the National Center on Deafness to receive services such as interpreting, Realtime and Typewell captioning, note-taking, tutoring and academic advisement.

Staff Directory

NCOD Administration

Cathy McLeod

Cathy McLeod, Director

Cathy McLeod is the director at the National Center on Deafness.  Cathy has knowledge and experience in the areas of collaborative learning, group dynamics, and advocacy and access issues related to consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Cathy has a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Los Angeles and a bachelor of arts degree from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.




Jim Macaluso

Jim Macaluso, Associate Director

Jim Macaluso is the associate director at the National Center on Deafness and an alumnus of Cal State Northridge. His more than 20 years of post-secondary experience in instructional, professional and administrative positions covers vocational instruction, student development and leadership, outreach and recruitment, technology and information systems, fiscal, personnel and operations administration. Jim is a recipient of the institutional Award of Merit given to individuals who exemplify sustained outstanding performance and demonstrate integrity and service to the university community.

Mr. Macaluso is known for fostering internal and external collaborations to mitigate costs, implement innovations and efficiencies and increase value-added services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at CSUN and abroad. He serves on a variety of campus committees, boards and statewide work groups to increase awareness and ensure effective compliance with mandated services and accessibility. Jim earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from CSUN.


Lehua Phillips, Administrative Coordinator

Charles Marmo, Account Manager

Kevin Cikatricis, Administrative Staff Interpreter

Communication Access Services

Shawn Clark, Interpreter Coordinator

Scott Selna, Speech-to-Text Coordinator

Gabriel Lopez, Dispatch and Front Desk Coordinator

Jacqueline Yassaman, Dispatcher / Front Desk

Advisement and Recruitment

Aileen Rolon, Student Personnel Specialist

Matthew Reinig, Student Development Specialist