Ed manages the organization’s external communications and facilitates DVU’s development operations through both grant writing and grant management. She assists the board and staff in implementing programs, including the Communication Disabilities Access Network (CDAN) and DVU’s supported decision-making work. She also directs all social media and websites for DVU and coordinates the technical portion of DVU’s public-facing webinars and calls.

Ed Hirtzel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and an MFA in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s College of California. Before DVU, she served as the Publishing Manager of River of Words, a nonprofit that uses youth poetry and art to connect students to their watersheds. She also taught rhetoric and composition at St. Mary’s College of California.

Ed is a previously-mainstreamed, Deaf butch lesbian who lives with multiple less-visible disabilities in the form of chronic autoimmune diseases and mental health disabilities. These lived experiences inform her work with and outside of DVU. She is particularly passionate about helping build a world where all people have communication access, as well as maximum choice and control over their own lives. Ed lives on Agua Caliente Band (of the Cahuilla Tribe) land, also called Palm Springs, with her fiancée Aleesha and their cat Absinthe.