About Shelby Edwards
Shelby Edwards serves as CEO of Inclusive Communication Services, overseeing the company’s general operations, coordination team, and the company’s mission. Shelby is an experienced American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter with over 10-years in the profession, specializing in Theatrical Accessibility, DeafBlind Interpreting, and working with children with Autism.
Shelby Edwards was born and raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
From an early age, she had a passion for the theater and loved participating in bilingual plays at her local community theater. Shelby attended Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee where she pursued a Bachelor of the Arts in American Sign Language – English Interpreting and Deaf Studies. During her studies, Shelby completed an interpreting internship with the Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults, where she learned DeafBlind tactile interpreting and explored New York City for the first time.
In 2013, Shelby graduated Sigma Cum Laude, was awarded the Irma Young Outstanding Senior Award in Interpreting, and was on her way to achieving her dreams in becoming a professional sign language interpreter. Shortly after graduating, Shelby worked closely with mentors from a local school district and community agency in Tennessee before relocating to New York, NY where she started her career as a freelance interpreter.
During the course of her freelance career, Shelby saw firsthand that a one-size-fits-all approach to accessibility services did not properly address neither the needs of the Deaf community nor the accessibility professionals within it.
Determined to improve inclusion and equal-access in New York, in 2016 Shelby partnered with Tyler Herron to found Inclusive Communication Services, Inc. – the first mission-focused, community-based interpreting agency designed to set a new standard for accessibility services for the Deaf, Blind, and Limited English Proficient (LEP).
Shelby is particularly passionate about equal access for the Theater and Arts, which motivated her to create ICS’s Village Hands initiative to ensure independent theaters in New York City have access to inclusive accommodation services, regardless of size or budget. Although Shelby stays busy as the CEO of ICS and CXO of Eclipse Scheduling, she continues to support local theaters and travels as often as possible.
Awards and Achievements
- Sigma Cum Laude, Maryville College
- Irma Young Outstanding Senior Award in Interpreting
- NYU Stern School of Business- Strategic Steps for Growth Issued Jul 2020
- Get Shit Done- 8-week Accelerator 2022 Cohort
Get Sh!t Done is the Collaborative Where Women Entrepreneurs Gain Traction to Grow Businesses that Scale Generational Impact.
ICS recognizes that effective communication depends on professionally-coordinated services. This is why ICS demonstrates exceptional care and expertise when pairing service providers, understanding that the unforeseen consequences of poorly managed services can result in a Deaf person being wrongfully denied employment, an LEP immigrant receiving misinterpreted legal advice, or even a DeafBlind individual being deprived of proper equal access to their local community board meetings. Everyone in our local communities deserves equal opportunity to participate and be included.
Hobbies & Interests
Although “always working” and constantly looking for ways to make our local communities more accessible, Shelby can often be found multitasking from a taxi, plane, or even a boat! She loves to travel and is always looking for her next adventure. When at home in NYC, Shelby enjoys the dynamic theater scene Manhattan has to offer. Shelby is also a passionate coffee drinker and is often seen roaming the streets with Starbucks or her famous pink thermos in hand.
As CEO, Shelby oversees Inclusive Communication Serviece’s operations, coordination team, and consumer experience and satisfaction. She also spearheads ICS’s non-profit initiative Village Hands and ensures that ICS’s services are affordable and accessible to a variety of budgets and organizations.
Shelby is a member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
- NYC Woman-Owned Business Enterprise
- National Organization for Women – NYC
- Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (EST)
- Saturdays 8:00 AM-12:00 PM (EST)