Dr. Stephanie Cawthon is a Professor in Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Special Education. She is also currently the Director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, a federally funded technical assistance center with a mission for reducing education and employment gaps for deaf people. This center represents a $US 20.7 million investment in providing support for individuals, families, educators, and leaders to reduce longstanding barriers to equity and opportunity. Cawthon has published over 100 books, articles, and book chapters and brings together research, policy and practice in areas such as accessible pedagogy, assessment, and systems change. Her most co-edited volume, Research in Deaf Education: Contexts, Challenges, and Considerations, offers readers a comprehensive understanding of the critical issues behind the decisions that go into this rigorous and important research for the community at hand.
Kathryn Crowe is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Iceland. She concurrently holds adjunct positions at the Center for Education Research Partnerships (National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology) and the School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University. She has worked as a speech pathologist, academic, and researcher and holds a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and Bachelor of Arts, majoring in linguistics, and a Master of Special Education (Sensory Disability), and a PhD, as well as Diploma in Auslan/English interpreting. She is also a member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech, assisted in the development of Speech Pathology Australia’s “Working in a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Society” position paper and clinical guidelines, and is an associate editor for Speech, Language and Hearing.
Kathryn’s research has focused on cultural and linguistic diversity in children, particularly children with hearing loss, their families, and the professionals who work with them. She is passionate about using evidence to inform practice when working with learners with hearing loss and making available evidence accessible to parents, professionals, and service providers.
Elaine Gale is an assistant professor and coordinator of the deaf and hard of hearing teacher preparation program at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). She is currently the chair of the Deaf Leadership International Alliance (DLIA), an organization established to advocate deaf adults in diverse roles throughout early intervention programs from decision-making to service provision. Her research experiences include joint attention, theory of mind, and sign language development. At present, she is the Lead Investigator for the Hunter College consortium on a research project titled Family ASL: Bimodal Bilingual Acquisition by Deaf Children of Hearing Parents supported by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Prof. Peter C. Hauser began his career as a clinical neuropsychologist conducting evaluations of deaf individuals’ cognitive abilities, learning, and academic achievement. He recognized that there was not enough research available to guide his practice so he begun studying cognitive, linguistic, and psychosocial aspects of deaf lives. He has received multiple federal grants for his research since 2005 and has over 50 publications including several books. Currently, he is the Director of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Research Center on Culture and Language at Rochester Institute of Technology, USA. Dr. Hauser describes himself an interdisciplinary methodological pluralist as he has conducted diverse research including neuroimaging studies, quantitative behavioral studies, and qualitative studies. His broad research background has enabled him to mentor many deaf and hearing students and junior faculty. Federal grants support his mentorship efforts to broaden the participation of deaf individuals in science careers. Hauser is a former recipient of RIT’s Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Isaac L. Jordan, Sr. Pluralism Award for promoting Diversity and Inclusion; and, RIT Provost Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring.
Harry Knoors, PhD, is a Professor at the Behavioural Science Institute of the Radboud University, the Netherlands, and Academic Director at Royal Dutch Kentalis. Knoors is trained as a psycholinguist, specializing in language and literacy of deaf children. He is involved in research on childhood deafness and research on the effectiveness of education. Harry Knoors wrote and co-edited various books for Oxford University Press; he also published results of research into deaf education and related topics in well over 130 articles in peer reviewed journals.
Dr Fiona Kyle
Dr Fiona Kyle is a lecturer at the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London (UCL). She is a chartered psychologist and her research focuses on the acquisition and development of literacy, language and cognitive skills in children. She is the director of The Literacy and Deafness Development Research Lab (The LADDER Lab). Fiona’s research investigates how deaf children learn to read and spell, and the cognitive correlates of reading success including language, speechreading, and phonological skills. In particular, she is interested in how different language experiences and backgrounds (use of spoken language, sign language or cochlear implant) shape deaf children’s literacy outcomes and the underlying processes.
Dr Elizabeth Mathews is an Assistant Professor with the School of Inclusive and Special Education at Dublin City University (DCU) St. Patrick’s Campus, where she specialises in the area of deaf education. She completed her MA in Deaf Education at Gallaudet University, Washington DC as a recipient of the Dr. Mary L. Thornton Scholarship and a Fulbright Student award. She completed her PhD with Maynooth University (2011) funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Previously, she was the coordinator of the Deaf Education Centre in Cabra, Dublin. She sits on the Board of Management of Holy Family School for the Deaf in Cabra. She is the author of Language, Power, and Resistance: Mainstreaming Deaf Education. She has recently led an innovative initiative to provide, for the first time, access to primary teaching for Deaf ISL users in the Republic of Ireland.
Alastair McEwin AM (Dinner Speaker)
Commissioner McEwin is a long term disability advocate whose systemic advocacy and policy work has seen him put his name to countless professional and personal endeavours, including his most recent role as Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner from 2016 to 2019. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for June 2019, Commissioner McEwin was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to people with disability, and as a human rights advocate.
Born profoundly deaf, Commissioner McEwin demonstrated from a young age a determination that would see him seek opportunities that would progress his desire to advocate for people with disability. Attending a mainstream school in Adelaide for his primary and secondary education, he has pursued tertiary studies in Arts, Law and Business Administration; he chose law because he could see that having an understanding of the law would help with pursuing disability rights.
Over 25 years, Commissioner McEwin has worked across the private, government and non-government sectors, having held roles such as management consultant with Accenture, Manager of the Australian Centre for Disability Law, CEO of People with Disability Australia and Executive Director of Community Legal Centres NSW. He also spent five years as the President of the Deaf Society of NSW and was the Chairperson of the Disability Council NSW – the official advisory board to the New South Wales Government on disability issues.
Commissioner McEwin has come across many disability issues throughout the years. He has also experienced many career highlights including being co-coordinator of the Second International Deaf Youth Camp held in Brisbane in 1999, his involvement in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), working as an Associate to the Hon Justice John von Doussa and most recently, serving as Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner.
He was also Chairperson of the Australian Theatre of the Deaf, coordinator of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on Human Rights and an adjunct lecturer for the Masters of Community Management degree at the University of Technology Sydney.
Commissioner McEwin takes on the role of Royal Commissioner as an opportunity to serve the disability community on an issue of national significance, one that is often hidden and rarely talked about in the wider community. This will build on the work that he undertook as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, where violence against people with disability was one of his six priority areas.
Emmanouela Terlektsi, PhD. is a lecturer in Deaf Education at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. After training as a teacher of the deaf, she obtained her PhD from the University of Birmingham. She had held a number of postdoctoral appointments at the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Southampton. Since 2016, when she was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, she has been the co-ordinator of the largest course in the UK for providing training for teachers who wish to gain the mandatory qualification to teach deaf children. She has been involved in a number of externally funded research projects with colleagues at various Universities in the UK. She is particularly interested in literacy development and social emotional development of deaf children and adolescents and how this can be enhanced by early identification and hearing aid technology.
Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano is a Professor Emerita of the Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and is currently a Research Professor, Institute of Cognitive Science, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Visiting Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, Centre for Deaf Studies and an international doctoral faculty board member in the Department of Human Sciences, Psychology area, at the University of Verona. She developed the Marion Downs Center in 1996 and received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Maternal & Child Health, the Office of Special Education, Office of Education and National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research since the early 1980s. She has served as a consultant in the US and for many countries who have developed early hearing detection and intervention programs. Her research has focused on the predictors of language (semantics, syntax, pragmatics and phonology), social-emotional, cognitive and auditory skill outcomes of infants and children who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those with both bilateral and unilateral hearing losses, those with and without additional disabilities, children with autism and other developmental disabilities and children from both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking homes.