2021 NDEC Signs



Looking for ways to support social-emotional learning and identity development with your class or individual students? Picture books and graphic novels are visual and engaging resources you can use! Jessica Kales (Ohio School for the Deaf) and Nancy Boone (Ohio School for the Deaf) will share about a project in progress at the Ohio School for the Deaf to create a resource library for staff, students, and families as a part of our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS). They will share the criteria used in selecting materials, the process for establishing a print and digital resource library, and ideas for using the materials to support students.

Examples will be given on how to:
– Connect picture books and graphic novels to general curriculum standards as well as SEL learning standards
– Use picture books/graphic novels with individual students to address social-emotional or mental health needs
– Support families in addressing social-emotional and mental health needs at home
– Offer professional development to teachers and staff

Jessica Kale
Jessica Kales, MA, LPC
Jessica is a Behavioral Healthcare Provider at the Ohio School for the Deaf. As part of the Care and Support Team (CAST) at OSD, Jessica works on the school’s PBIS initiatives. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Gallaudet University. 
Nancy Boone
Nancy Boone, she/her/hers, school librarian
Nancy started as a teacher at Ohio School for the Deaf in 1999 and became the school librarian in 2010. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in deaf education from MacMurray College and Master’s of Library and Information Science with an emphasis on school librarianship from Kent State University.

From Walking Stick to Selfie: Engaging Families Across Generations

Each generation has a different set of values, beliefs, and opinions. Today’s world has five distinctive generations interacting with each other every day. Generational differences bring a unique set of challenges and wonderful opportunities to our interactions with families. It is crucial to understand and recognize generational commonalities and differences; this enables us to meet the needs of the families we serve and develop appropriate products, resources, and services for families.

The most common generational differences surround communication, technology, and adaptability. We must also consider how parenting styles change across generations and how we can acknowledge and address younger generations’ parenting and communication preferences and use of technology to satisfy the emotional and intellectual needs of parents and families most effectively. 

Generational differences affect how we plan events, develop resources, and support families. In this session, we will talk about how generational gaps between professionals and families can impact our work as we plan events, communicate with families, and develop resources and support for families. We will discuss practical applications and real-life examples that service providers, educational staff, and parent-to-parent support professionals can use to improve communications with families, increase family engagement, and design resources or events specifically for a younger generation of parents.

Tabitha Belhorn
Tabitha Belhorn, MS
Tabitha is the mother of three children, of whom the oldest is deaf. She has worked with families for over 15 years, providing resources, guidance, and support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She has experience supporting families of children who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and deaf plus additional disabilities. When not working, you’ll find her at home caring for her plants, pets, or listening to true crime podcasts.

The Neuroscience of IEP Meetings

David Rock, the Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, coined the term ‘neuroleadership.’ Neuroleadership is the application of neuroscience to leadership, which creates a new way to lead and develop leaders. Rock created the SCARF model to be used to understand our behavior in social situations through our response to perceived threats and rewards. The SCARF model identifies five key stimuli, Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness, that drive our behavioral responses to minimize threats and maximize rewards. Understanding and using the SCARF model can help us navigate through social and work situations such as IEP meetings or working one on one with families. The SCARF model supports all of us by maximizing our understanding of self, others, and creating a more collaborative environment. The SCARF model helps us label and reappraise events that might be associated with negative emotions and reduce performance to a more positive experience. Applying this model to yourself and your interactions with families is sure to lead your organization to greater success, increased family engagement, and increased student success.

Tabitha Belhorn
Tabitha Belhorn, MS
Tabitha is the mother of three children, of whom the oldest is deaf. She has worked with families for over 15 years, providing resources, guidance, and support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She has experience supporting families of children who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and deaf plus additional disabilities. When not working, you’ll find her at home caring for her plants, pets, or listening to true crime podcasts.

I missed breakfast, I can’t work today: Self-Awareness among First-Year DHH college students

Every year, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf enrolls approximately 150 Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing students. A significant percentage of this student population find themselves underprepared to successfully navigate college life due to academic and social-emotional barriers. Consequently, these students may withdraw from college. The Summer Transition Education Program was established in 2019 to address this issue. In this workshop, the findings related to the social-emotional experiences of incoming DHH at NTID will be shared. Recommendations will be discussed to support the efforts of K-12 teachers.

Jeanne d Arc Ntigulirwa
Jeanne d’Arc Ntigulirwa (NTID)
Ntigulirwa is a lecturer in the Summer Transition Program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration focused on Human Resources Management from the College of Business and Economics in Rwanda and a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from Rochester Institute of Technology.  Prior to joining the STP program, Ntigulirwa held various teaching positions at NTID where she co-taught English as a second language at various levels. She is passionate about finding and testing various instructional approaches that support the bilingual needs of DHH students. Ntigulirwa also has extensive experience training teachers in Rwanda in inclusive practices and Rwanda Sign Language. 

STEM (Sponsored by NTID)

3D Printing Technology in Classroom Opportunities

STEM Immersion: 3D Printing in classrooms (for TODHH) Learn how to incorporate 3D printing across the core subjects in the K-12 classroom.  Attendees will receive twenty-six 3D printing lessons for K-12 based around Thingiverse and Tinkercad.  Some lessons offer exercises that students could start at home and finish when they return to school.

Matt Howell
Matt Howell
Matt is a STEM trainer in Mechatronic Engineering for Leadership in Deafness (MELD). A Model Secondary School for the Deaf Alumni who came from a small town in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He started off as customization manager for a sports uniform company dealing with graphic design, heat press, screen print, and embroidery for 5 years until he was successful in getting his dream job by working as mechanical design and quality engineering within the automotive technology field. He has worked within NASCAR, military, and motorsports fields. After 20 years of working in technology industries, he wanted to share his knowledge and experience in advanced technology with Deaf students. So, he became an Engineering and Automotive Technology teacher at North Carolina School for the Deaf for a couple of years before joining the NRSC Team. He has a huge passion in motorsports and automotive technologies. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and watching movies with his beautiful wife, son, and dogs. 

STEM Immersion Robotics in the Classroom

Recently, the Perseverance landed on Mars to conduct many scientific experiments. This robotic rover will be completely autonomous and running on programs that were coded by people like you and me. There are many situations where humans cannot go, so robotics and artificial intelligence(AI) allow students to develop innovative thought and problem-solving. They can also build collaborative teamwork skills. These are all hallmarks of STEM skills. Attendees will reflect on how to include robotics in their subject areas. Robotics and coding lessons for K-12 will be distributed. Teachers that commit to using the lessons in their classroom are eligible for robotics equipment for their school! Additional support and training can and will be provided at their school for no expense.

Harry Wood
Harry Wood
Harry is a STEM Trainer with a science background. He started out as a math/science specialist and now specializes in High School Robotics for STEM education. He tries to combine his experience as a teacher of the D/HH with the best practices of STEM education into a cohesive model. Prior to his current position, Harry taught students in high school at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind from 2003-2016, specializing in science education. Originally hailing from Maryland, he provides support & enthusiasm in robotics and computer science/coding among many other things.  He has a love for gardening, hiking, kayaking, and anything to do with nature.

Brett Grayson
Brett Grayson (NRSC)
Brett is a STEM Trainer with a math background. Brett grew up in North Carolina and had aspirations of becoming a civil engineer, but after being a substitute teacher at a mainstream program, he knew teaching was something he wanted to pursue.  Brett has worked in the field of Deaf Education for over ten years, taking on various positions as a dorm counselor, a classroom math teacher and a statewide consultant for a Deaf-Blind Project.  He wants to combine his experience and passion for teaching to provide Deaf students with the opportunity to “find their place” in the STEM field. At work, he specializes in middle school robotics.  Outside of work, he likes to spend time with his wife and fur-children, CrossFit, and any type of outdoorsy activity.

Google Drive – As an educational and virtual teams tool

This workshop digs into the benefits and interactivity within Google Drive for educational, creative, and personal organization. Using a creative project, the workshop will explore and provide a general overview of how to take advantage and utilize google drive.

Topics covered: 

  • Storing, organizing, and accessing your files.
  • Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets (interchangeable benefits)
  • Permissions & sharing
  • Uses – Advantages & benefits
Ernest Roszkowski
Ernest Rosziowski (RIT/NTID)
Ernie Roszkowski is an educator and industry professional in the areas of creative visual design, and user experience in Rochester, NY. Influenced by a visual dependency, and an empathic nature, he engineers visual design solutions that are creative in their context as they communicate information, provoke emotion, and/or enhance visually interactive experiences. His creative passions dabble in multiple areas: user experience, information design, typography, motion graphics, and collaboration. He holds a MFA in Visual Communication Design, and BFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches Visual Communication Studies at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf.

The Arts of Storytelling: Incorporating Theatre Arts, Literacy and STEM in Classroom

The workshop will focus on three of many storytelling forms. They are ABC Story, Visual Vernacular and ASL Poetry. In this interactive workshop, the features and techniques of those storytelling forms will be shared. This workshop will provide audience members an opportunity to:

  1.  Apply  literacy and theater arts techniques in a classroom that needs S.T.E.M focus. 
  2.  Develop skills/ activities aimed at enhancing creativity in S.T.E.M.
  3.  Incorporate S.T.E.M. topic in their classwork. 
  4.  Create their own materials from the given models/lessons/activities.
Fred Beam
Fred Michael Beam (RIT/NTID)
Fred Michael Beam (Director), alumni of RIT/NTID, is currently the Outreach Coordinator for Sunshine 2.0. An acclaimed dancer, actor, poet, director and choreographer. Mr. Beam has worked with many theatre companies including Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts and National Theatre of the Deaf, just to name a few. He also was involved in numerous dance companies, the Gallaudet Dance Company, the National Deaf Dance Theatre, the DuPont Dance Company, the Penn Vision Dance Company and the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts. He has performed around the globe. He was also executive director of an award winning, Invisible Hands, Inc., which promotes deaf awareness through performing arts and was one of the founding members of The Wild Zappers, an all deaf male dance company, which toured nationally and internationally. He also established Theater Arts Leadership Training for Deaf People of Color at Gallaudet University. He also has taught math and theater at Model Secondary School for the Deaf before moving to Rochester, New York.

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Sunshine 2.0 members:
Shiann Cook, Bianca Ware,
Zain Ahmed and Tyler Fortson

Scaffolding tool to engage Crosscutting Concepts in your science lesson

The release of NGSS in 2012 has brought 3-D Learning into the forefront of science content pedagogy that makes out the Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), and the Crosscutting Concepts (CCC).  This presentation will focus on the CCC and its seven concepts: Patterns; Energy & Matter; System and System models; Cause & Effect; Stability & Change; Scale, Proportional, & Quantity; Structure & Function.  Much of the research and teacher training since the NGSS interception focused on the DCI and SEP that left CCC on the rearview mirror.  Thus, the CCC is least understood and implemented in the science classroom.  Science teachers underutilized the CCC as they can be used dependent or independent of the DCI and SEP, which could lead to confusion with the implicit CCC teaching as a lens to look in the data or explicit CCC teaching as a bridge to student’s fund of knowledge (Fick, 2018).  Textbooks and many curriculum materials in the science classroom are loaded with an implicit lens, such as the scientific data and models. Still, successful 3-D Learning will require teachers to explicate the bridge in their science lesson to allow the DCI and SEP learning to crossover to the student’s fund of knowledge. 

Understanding the relationship between the DCI, SEP, and CCC is essential for students to develop sensemaking around the phenomena.  It will also encourage students from diverse backgrounds to contextualize their science learning to their interest and personal knowledge that will get them motivated with higher confidence to learn science (Fick et al., 2019).  Each component of 3-D Learning can be viewed as a strand of rope that comes together to build a network of the connected idea that would lead to a more remarkable ability to solve problems, make decisions, explain phenomena, and make sense of new information (Chesnutt et al., 2019).  One of the significances of teaching the CCC to your students is to contextualize their science learning with their fund of knowledge.  Students need to provide consent to learn, and utilizing their background experience and knowledge will significantly increase their consent to learn about science. Chesnutt (2019) and their colleagues showed that students with a more robust sense of CCC performed well in the high-stake test that suggested time devoted to explicating CCC in science teaching rendered a more positive gain for students’ science learning.

Peacock et al. ‘s (2018) developed a scaffolding tool for the CCC with a graphic organizer for each CCC concept as an instructional resource for science teaching. This presentation will demonstrate the CCC graphic organizers with tips and strategies on using and evaluating your student’s responses to your science lesson.  The graphic organizer will also serve as a vehicle to explicate the CCC in your class.  The graphic organizers can be used with all students across the grade level as the presentation will show learning progression for younger and older students. You can download the graphic organizer and other CCC Resources from this presentation at your convenience.

Scott Cohen
Scott Cohen (Georgia State Univ)
Scott is a Deaf doctoral student in teaching and learning with a science education concentration at Georgia State University.  His emerging research explores the theoretical foundation of the language discourse between ASL, English, and the language of science.  His dissertation will work with teachers who teach science to D/HH students with their development with science content pedagogy.  He expected to graduate with his doctorate in the spring of 2022.  He is a former high school science teacher at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf.

What does the unique dual credit Forensic Science course bring for high school students?

For this workshop, the idea is to present what qualified students and I do from the first day to the last day of the Forensic Science PFF dual credit course. I will discuss a resource I use as a science teacher: ASL core.org for advanced scientific terminology. The goal is to encourage all students and teachers to use ASL core.org as a standard source of signs across the nation. This benefits students who transfer between schools as well as taking advanced courses in post-secondary education level and/or in their STEM careers. 

Tara Holaday
Tara Holaday (Texas School for the Deaf)
My name is Ms. Tara Holaday, and I teach two exciting courses; Biology and dual-credit Forensic Science at Texas School for the Deaf. I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education both from RIT/NTID. My first teaching job was at Sequoia Deaf School in Arizona as a 7th-12th grade Math and Science teacher. During this time, I received the Teacher of the Year award.  While I serve my current fun role as a science teacher at Texas School for the Deaf, I am also a class sponsor of the Class of 2023 and a coordinator of Tech Girls club for 7th through 12th grades. 

Teaching Inside the Box

Thinking Inside the Box reflects on the lessons learned from Distance Learning and implements immediate specific and lasting equity-oriented solutions to support differentiated instruction going forward.  The solutions presented have a direct impact on how an instructor would plan their lessons. For instance, using a proposed tool to develop interactive content would do well for independent work and ensuring that students not in attendance will not fall behind when they return.

Michael Foust
Michael Foust (CSD Fremont)
Michael Foust is a teacher at CSD, Fremont and would do nothing more than to serve a role in transforming the field of education. His hobbies include tinkering with technology, playing board games, and learning.
Chris Kurz
Chris Kurz (RIT)
Dr. Chris Kurz is a MSSE professor at RIT who directs the NTID DEAF Math-Science Language and Learning Lab. Most of his work is centered around understanding and improving the roles ASL and English play in STEM. He is located in New York, USA, Earth, the Solar System, Milky Way.

Social/Transformative Justice

Contribution of Black Deaf Performing Arts

This presentation will show what Black Deaf Performing Artists have contributed to our history and be recognized.  This presentation will  include the history of black deaf performing arts,  black deaf performing artists and their accomplishments in  theater. This presentation will also present the “First” in the field of Black Deaf Performing Arts.  The information that will be shared, was collected from the newspapers, articles, books, internet, anecdotes and other kinds of resources.

Fred Beam
Fred Beam (NTID)
Fred Michael Beam is the outreach coordinator for Sunshine 2.0. He is an experienced performer with acting credits that include Lion in “The Wonderful Wiz of Oz” , Nicholas in “By the Music of the Spheres” at the Goodman Theater, Harry in “Harry the Dirty Dog” at the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts; Witness in “Miracle Workers” and Stranger in “Mad Dancer” at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; “Fall Out Shelter,” “The Dirt Maker” and “The Underachiever” at the Kennedy Center; the title character in “Othello” at Gallaudet University; and Steve in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Sign¬Rise Cultural Arts in Washington, D.C. He also performs in his one-man shows, “Fred Michael Beam: Sign Me a Story” and “Black, Deaf Male: Who Am I?,” which toured nationwide. He was a member of “I Didn’t Hear That Color,” the first black deaf play ever produced. His television and film credits include “If You Could Hear My Own Tune,” “The West Wing,” “Secret Dream,” “Little Lonely Monster,” “Deaf Mosaic” and “The New Captain Kangaroo,” for which he won the 2000 Media Access Award. He is also an internationally acclaimed dancer, director and choreographer. Fred Michael Beam was also Executive Director of In¬visible Hands, Inc., which promotes deaf awareness through performing arts and was one of the founding members of The Wild Zappers, an all deaf male dance company. He also established Theater Arts Leadership Training for Deaf People of Color at Gallaudet University.

Suspension and Social Justice: A Glimpse at a Deaf School

Over 90% of Deaf children are born to hearing parents who are unfamiliar with sign language. As a result, these children are deprived of full language access early on. Language deprivation can also occur for older Deaf school-age children who are deprived of full language access when misinformed and outdated ideologies persist, such as suspensions at Deaf residential schools. When students are suspended from the classroom, they are deprived of the rich sign language exposure they would otherwise receive. This is especially important for Black Deaf students who may be disproportionately suspended in Deaf schools and have been shown to score lower on tests of academic and sign language ability. This article presents suspension data from one Deaf school with a focus on suspension patterns of Black Deaf students. Our results show that Black Deaf students, especially Black males, may be at risk of being suspended at higher rates than other students in Deaf Schools. We argue that high suspensions deprive Black Deaf students of full access to the rich language that is available in Deaf classrooms and restricts their ability to thrive linguistically and academically.

Lisalee Egbert
Dr. Lisalee D. Egbert (McDaniel College)
Lisalee D. Egbert, PhD, teaches at McDaniel College as a Visiting Professor in the ASL and Deaf Education program. She is a two-term member of the Maryland Governor’s Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Council and sits on the Maryland Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee related to mental health services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. She also serves in the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program for the Maryland Department of Health and for the Parents’ Place of Maryland, as well as, the EHDI Screening and Beyond Advisory Committee. She and her husband are Deaf, and they have two Hard of Hearing and two hearing children.

Todd LaMarr
Todd LaMarr (American River College)
Todd LaMarr, MA, is a professor in the department of Early Childhood Education at American River College in Sacramento, Calif. He received his bachelor’s degree in Deaf studies and American Sign Language (ASL) and his master’s degree in child development from California State University, Sacramento. Previously, LaMarr taught preschool and worked with elementary and high school Deaf and hard of hearing students. An alumnus of Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning, LaMarr has worked at the University of California, Davis and Stanford University, researching the language and brain development of children learning ASL.

Identifying Social Justice Concepts and Their Impact on Deaf Education

Social justice has played a significant role in the workplace. Today, the United States consists of people of many ethnicities and cultures. Internet access and social media platforms have played a critical role in shaping our views and understanding of the world. Our biases, whether conscious or unconscious, have a strong influence within the educational system. Deaf education is unique in that we may encounter individuals with multiple intersectionalities working with educators from diverse ethnic and identity backgrounds. This workshop will allow educators and administrators who play a central role in deaf education to learn about the four social principles; the definitions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and inequality; the origin of bias; and microaggressions in our everyday lives and outside of the school environment. This presentation will also discuss how we can better support the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community as authentic allies and identify our roles in perpetuating injustices. Engaging in these discussions allows educators to address real-world problems by viewing them from multiple perspectives.

Taiyabah Naeem
Taiyabah Naeem (Pennsylvania School for the Deaf)
Taiyabah Naeem is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Pennsylvania School of the Deaf. Taiyabah worked previously as a researcher, teacher, and project manager at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, to Pakistani Punjabi immigrant parents before moving to the United States. She attended mainstream schools and then earned her Bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Gallaudet University and her Master’s degree in Deaf Education from McDaniel College. Taiyabah, a Brown, Deaf woman, supports employees in promoting diversity and commitment to equity and anti-racism work to support the Black, Ingenious, and People of Color Deaf community and their allies. 

Suspension and Social Justice: A Glimpse at a Deaf School

With a high number of white teachers teaching BIPOC students, teachers often find it difficult to transform their social justice curriculum that aligns with the students based on different reasons. This workshop includes three steps to help teachers achieve implementing social justice curriculum in their classrooms. These steps are: 1) sharing your power/privilege as a teacher with your students, 2) the first steps to take as a teacher and how to plan and collect resources for your social justice units, and 3) examples of how social justice curriculum is implemented in a classroom.

Kate Fetzer
Kate Fetzer
My name is Kate Fetzer, and my pronouns are she and hers. I am currently going on 5th year as an English Teacher at Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, DC. For 5 years, I have been teaching juniors. About me, I was born and raised in Indiana. I attended and graduated from Indiana School for the Deaf, Gallaudet University (Bachelors in Elementary Education), and Texas Woman University (Masters in Deaf Education). I thrive to maintain my commitment to maximize students’ academic potential, instill confidence and self-worth among all students, and inspire students to be better citizens.  Students are our future generation. Besides teaching at MSSD, I am also a Head Softball Coach for MSSD for 6 years now. I prosper to make a difference in students and athletes’ lives.

Brittany Farr
Brittany Farr
My name is Brittany Farr and I am a second-year English Language Arts teacher at Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington D.C. Currently, I teach 10th graders and AP English Language and Composition for 11th graders. I pursued my Bachelor’s in English and Communication Studies at Gallaudet University and discovered my passion for education and research which led me to earn my Master’s degree in Deaf Education at Boston University. I am passionate about creating innovative lesson plans in the classroom that teaches the joy of literature along with empowering my students to reclaim their education as theirs. Ultimately, it is my dream to create and develop English curricula for all Deaf schools and programs that teach English via the Deaf lens by implementing a heavy bilingual approach.

Shea Jefferson
Shea Jefferson Strain (MSSD)
 I am currently an English teacher at Model Secondary School for the Deaf and an Adjunct English Professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, I went to a mainstream school with a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. After graduation, I attended Gallaudet University to pursue a degree in English. As an avid reader, I quickly fell in love with analyzing and theorizing various works of Literature. My passion for English and ASL only continued to thrive.  Following this, I worked as a Deaf Interpreter and an English Instructor at the English Language Institute both at Gallaudet University. After enrolling in McDaniel College’s Deaf Education program in May of 2018, I was hired to teach at MSSD where I still reside. As of May 2021, I will be graduating from McDaniel College with a Masters of Science in Deaf Education.

A Tool for Becoming an Exceptional Ally for the Deaf Community

This workshop will focus on the four areas of cultural mediation, education, interpretation, and oppression in the Deaf community. Participants will have the opportunity to analyze their privileges and discuss how their privileges can be used to empower Deaf people in healthy and positive ways. Group discussions will facilitate reevaluation of the person’s role in the Deaf community. Brainstorming will be used as a strategic approach to Sandy Rae Scott has taught at Utah Schools for the Deaf, Ogden Campus, as an ASL/English Specialist for six years.  Prior to her relocation to Utah, Sandy taught at three different residential schools of the Deaf in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and at a public high school in Seattle, Washington. Sandy has served as an ASL instructor at the University of Virginia, Seattle Central Community College and Gallaudet University. In addition to her teaching job, Sandy has been passionately contributing her bilingual lessons to the ASL/English Enrichment page on Facebook which she implemented in 2014 and 2017. Her broad experience in a variety of diverse settings has given her professional and personal experience creating synergistic relationships that build and elevate the Deaf community. help improve the person’s understanding of what is needed as a partner when advocating with the Deaf community. Various scenarios and videos will be shown, giving the audience members the opportunity to expand their understanding of how they can contribute to the developmental process, by becoming an ally.

Sandy Rae Scott
Sandy Rae Scott
(Utah School for the Deaf)
Sandy Rae Scott has taught at Utah Schools for the Deaf, Ogden Campus, as an ASL/English Specialist for six years.  Prior to her relocation to Utah, Sandy taught at three different residential schools of the Deaf in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and at a public high school in Seattle, Washington. Sandy has served as an ASL inSandy Rae Scott has taught at Utah Schools for the Deaf, Ogden Campus, as an ASL/English Specialist for six years.  Prior to her relocation to Utah, Sandy taught at three different residential schools of the Deaf in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and at a public high school in Seattle, Washington. Sandy has served as an ASL instructor at the University of Virginia, Seattle Central Community College and Gallaudet University. In addition to her teaching job, Sandy has been passionately contributing her bilingual lessons to the ASL/English Enrichment page on Facebook which she implemented in 2014 and 2017. Her broad experience in a variety of diverse settings has given her professional and personal experience creating synergistic relationships that build and elevate the Deaf community. structor at the University of Virginia, Seattle Central Community College and Gallaudet University. In addition to her teaching job, Sandy has been passionately contributing her bilingual lessons to the ASL/English Enrichment page on Facebook which she implemented in 2014 and 2017. Her broad experience in a variety of diverse settings has given her professional and personal experience creating synergistic relationships that build and elevate the Deaf community.

Vicky Floyd
Vicky Floyd
(Utah School for the Deaf)
Hailing from Utah, Vicky Floyd is a Reading Specialist who teaches Deaf and hard-of-hearing preschoolers – high school students at Kenneth Burdett School of the Deaf under Utah Schools for the Deaf. She also works for Sorenson Communications as an ASL interpreter. Vicky collaborates with other professionals in the Deaf community and volunteers her time advocating individuals in the Deaf community. Vicky mentors new teachers in the field of Deaf Education at Utah State University.  She is a well-respected member of the Deaf community. 

When Engagement Isn’t Enough: The Case for Centering Families in our Services

Family engagement and family centeredness are often used interchangeably when discussing programs and services for families of deaf and hard of hearing families. By doing so, the nuances of each framework are ignored, which overlooks opportunities for equity and social justice within the family-centered framework (especially related to access for culturally and linguistically diverse families). This presentation will define each framework and compare it with examples from multiple levels of organizational operations (individual, agency, and policy levels). A rationale for moving away from the typically used family engagement framework toward the family centered framework will be reviewed, with action points embedded throughout the presentation for participants to take away and apply to their respective places of employment.

Sarah Honigfeld
Sarah Jean Honigfeld (Self-Employed)
Sarah is a Deaf adult who works as an Early Intervention Consultant. She works closely with various schools, programs and agencies to provide bilingual, family-centered programming for deaf or hard of hearing infants and toddlers and their families. Her academic background includes a MA in School Counseling from Gallaudet University and a Certificate in Infants, Toddlers and Families: Leadership, also from Gallaudet University. Sarah’s special interests include Family Language Planning, ASL/English bilingual programming for Early Childhood and family centered practices.

Instructional Planning

Learn ASL at Home: Team-taught, family-focused ASL instruction for Families of Young Deaf Children

This workshop describes “ASL at Home,” an innovative, family-centered curriculum designed for families with young deaf children and the professionals who support them, and how to use it in both 1:1 service provision with families, and in a class environment. The portion of the workshop on service provision is targeted toward early intervention professionals, such as deaf mentors/coaches, teachers of the deaf, and speech-language pathologists. The portion on using the curriculum to provide ASL classes is targeted toward organizations and local education agencies who wish to provide an ASL class for families with young deaf children. The curriculum follows the daily routines of young children, to teach families the essential tools they need to provide a language-rich environment for their child. The curriculum also includes language enrichment techniques to provide targeted ways to promote language acquisition, and Deaf cultural wealth lessons to provide the cultural capital for families to understand their child’s “Deaf Gain.”

Leah Geer
Leah C Geer
I am a deaf Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at California State University, Sacramento. I received a PhD in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I attended New Mexico State University where I majored in Kinesiology. After becoming increasingly interested in motor learning and development, I attended Gallaudet University for a Master’s degree in Linguistics, allowing for a fusion of interests in motor skill acquisition combined with signed language acquisition. My PhD focused on second-language acquisition, specifically improving methods of fingerspelling instruction in language classes. Most recently, I co-authored an ASL curriculum for families with young deaf children called “ASL at Home”.
Razi Zarchy
Razi M. Zarchy
(California State University Sacramento)
I am a hearing Speech-Language Pathologist for a public school district in the Sacramento, CA area. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Anthropology from UCLA and my Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento. I have also been accepted to the Summer 2021 cohort in the Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. I am fluent in American Sign Language and specialize in working with deaf and hard of hearing children, particularly in the treatment, assessment, and prevention of language deprivation. I have also served as a Clinical Instructor in the speech and language clinic at my alma mater, Sacramento State. Last summer, I co-authored “ASL at Home” with Dr. Leah Geer.

Reimagining National Impact and Engagement

This presentation gives participants an overview of one of the initiatives at the Clerc Center: the development of a National Learning and Engagement Platform. Learn how the Clerc Center is preparing to meet the needs of teachers and families, and to support capacity building for leaders working with deaf and hard of hearing students across the country. As a community of deaf education professionals, we can help to create a centralized library of lesson plans and video tutorials, along with on demand training and discussion forums.  Join this dialogue to shape this library of resources through conversation about the priority needs of your program and the resources within your school that this platform could help to highlight.

Debra Trapani
Debra Trapani
(Clerc Center at Gallaudet University
Debbie Trapani, the Director of Bilingual Education and Director of Training and Professional Development at the Clerc Center and is currently co-leading the Regional Early Acquisition of Language (REAL) Project in Collaboration with AIDB as well as the development and implementation of the National Learning and Engagement Platform.  Previously, she  worked as a Parent-Child Educator, Teacher of students from Preschool through Secondary, Literacy Specialist and administrator of the Delaware School for the Deaf and Statewide Programs in Delaware before coming to the Clerc Center.  Growing up deaf, Debbie  was a student in several deaf education settings in California before graduating from a school for the Deaf.  Debbie is the proud parent of two beautiful girls, one Deaf and one hearing.

Service Learning Project in Deaf Education

Service Learning is a long-time research proven that people can learn and benefit greatly from this  teaching approach. The service learning is an approach in multiple public schools and shows a very successful result in students’ learning in collaborative, volunteerism, interaction with diverse people, increased self-efficacy, and career guidance. Deaf School will need to expand its resources and creativity in course offerings to incorporate service learning approaches in courses. This is an opportunity to transform our students and education to become a whole person they can be with a value of social development and ethnic of service. The participants will learn what service learning looks like, how it can be beneficial for Deaf students, and creative ways to incorporate it in different subjects.

Ernest Willman
Ernest Willam (Pima Community College)
Mr. Ernest Willman, M.Ed, ASLTA Certified is a Faculty Member at Pima Community College (PCC). He teaches American Sign Language and Deaf Culture through face-to-face, virtual and online courses. He is also a Certified Online Educator. Prior to joining PCC, Ernest was a secondary teacher and taught ASL and Deaf studies. He previously was a substitute teacher for PK-12, adjunct faculty, and employed in Federal Government, Private Sector, and Non-Profit organizations. Ernest earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and American Sign Language from Gallaudet University. He also graduated at Drexel University with a Masters of Education in Higher Education. He also owns a business that focuses on life coach, leadership consultation, interpretation and translation (English to ASL).

Teaching Deaf Students American Sign Language:  Qualitative Study

This presentation is the result of a defended dissertation, the description of the results of a nationwide study based on the results of the data collection of 209 surveys, 6 focus groups, and 39 interviews of K-5 deaf educators all across America. Deaf educators have little to no ASL curriculum to use and little is known of effective instructional strategies regarding developing ASL literacy skills in deaf children. Goals include improving ASL literacy of deaf students and advancing deaf students’ general knowledge acquisition. An inquiry was made regarding what materials were used to teach ASL in K-5 deaf education classrooms and what should be included in an effective ASL curriculum for deaf children.

Jessica Parker
Dr. Jessica Parker
(American College of Education/Family Partnership Charter School)
Jessica Parker is a CODA with 20+ years of ASL teaching experience in grades K-12. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership in June 2020.  She is Principal of Family Partnership Charter School in Anchorage, Alaska while also developing and teaching ASL curriculum and ASL classes online. She has a passion for creating L1 curriculum for Deaf students and developed ASL Concepts.  Jessica currently serves as the ASL Honor Society National Coordinator.  During her free time, she enjoys the great outdoors-going camping, cycling, & fishing, always bringing her husky along. She is married with 3 children and stays very active by enjoying Alaska’s great outdoors!