Jari graduated from TC’s Deaf Education program in 2013. Since then, Jari has worked as a Teacher of the Deaf in NYC and Colorado, and has most recently founded ‘Feel the Beat’, a nonprofit dance program and studio for children who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and with Special Needs. She has an extensive education in and passion for dance, theatre, Sign Language and working with Deaf and special needs children.
Although she might look like a teenager, Michelle is a teacher of the deaf and hard-of-hearing in the San Francisco Unified School District. Before receiving her teaching credential, she obtained her Ed.M/MA in Deaf Education and Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2012. Michelle was diagnosed at birth with deafness in both ears. Later, an audiologist determined she had a severe-to-profound hearing loss in the left ear and complete deafness in the right ear. From the time she was 11 months old, Michelle attended the San Francisco Hearing & Speech Center (now known as the Hearing & Speech Center of Northern California). She was mainstreamed in first grade and spent most of her time reading books when she was supposed to be playing at recess. Upon high school graduation, Michelle attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she became a spirited Bruin. During her college years, she participated in various student groups, studied abroad, spent a quarter in Washington, DC researching special education and arts education, and volunteered at No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English with minors in Disability Studies and Global Studies. As an alumna of AG Bell’s Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) 2004 and as a recipient of an AG Bell grant, Michelle believes in the unique and transformative experience that the program provides for teens with hearing loss. In her free time, Michelle enjoys traveling, hanging out with her friends, writing, watching movies, listening to music, dancing, and doing yoga while thinking about her next big meal.
Gary graduated from TC in 1996 and is currently an early elementary educator at PS 347 - The American Sign Language and English School in New York City where he teaches deaf, hard of hearing and hearing children from diverse backgrounds. He earned a master’s degree from Teachers College and later became a licensed reading specialist due, in part, to his work with the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation. He received his doctorate in 2014 in the Language, Literacy and Learning program at Fordham University. His dissertation focused on reading assessments used in K-5 classrooms with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Deborah graduated from the TC Deaf Education Program in 2001 and taught at the Murray Bergtraum HS in NYC for ten years. Since 2010 she has been an itinerant teacher for a diverse group of deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind students from elementary through high school across NYC. Deborah believes that every child has the potential to learn and her goal is to help each student identify his/her own strengths and develop the skills needed to become their own best advocate. Growing up hard-of-hearing and mainstreamed herself, Deborah’s commitment and strategies are often informed by her own experiences, and she finds being "on the other side of the desk" very rewarding.
Her personal story convinced her that no student can do it alone so in collaboration with other providers, teachers, family members, coaches, and counselors she helps craft an intentional educational plan that provides opportunities for each child to achieve goals.
Realizing that mainstreamed city teens rarely meet others like themselves – and that some of the best incidental learning happens between peers outside of school; Deborah founded the SayWhat teen group in 2013, which is funded by The Children's Hearing Institute (CHI). At regular meetings and events, teen cochlear implant and hearing aid users get a chance to have fun, share experiences, inspire and empower each other. The groups meet at various social venues across the city with membership growing at each event. A program dividend is that parents also get a chance to build community, support one another and share strategies to help their teens succeed.
Dana graduated from the TC Deaf Education program in 2011. She is an Itinerant TOD working as a consultant for the New York City Department of Education. In 2013 she and fellow alumna Brittany started an integrated summer day camp called cAMPEDuP. Located in Manhattan, the camp provides a fun summer experience for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid users, and their hearing siblings and friends. “cAMPEDuP” is designed to ensure that each child will have four action packed weeks of summer fun in a listener friendly environment. Way to go Brittany and Dana!
Brittany graduated from the TC Deaf Education program in 2012. She is an Itinerant TOD working as a consultant for the New York City Department of Education. In 2013 she and fellow alumna Dana started an integrated summer day camp called cAMPEDuP. Located in Manhattan, the camp provides a fun summer experience for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid users, and their hearing siblings and friends. “cAMPEDuP” is designed to ensure that each child will have four action packed weeks of summer fun in a listener friendly environment. Way to go Brittany and Dana!
DaeShawn graduated from the Deaf Ed/Elementary Education program in May 2013. Since then he has been working in the Bronx as a Hearing Education Related Service Provider within the New York City Department of Education. During his first year with the DOE he worked primarily with students who have multiple disabilities in addition to hearing loss. He has since begun working with a wide range of students, many of whom are in mainstream classrooms. DaeShawn is passionate about student motivation and advocacy, noting that students should be in charge of their own learning. He focuses his sessions around this philosophy by working with students to develop self-regulation strategies to take with them into the classroom. DaeShawn hopes to continue working with students with hearing loss/multiple disabilities and to study meta-cognitive development as it relates to their educational achievement.
Kayla graduated from the program in May of 2014 and is currently one of three DHOH Teachers at an elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she works with 4th and 5th grade students. Kayla provides push-in support as well as some pull-out instruction and works closely with her students’ general education teachers to modify their tasks and materials to ensure that they are able to access and benefit from the instruction. Kayla uses American Sign Language with her students while providing English auditory support. Kayla loves that she is constantly challenged to keep up with her students' strengths and enjoys seeing them learn and take pride in their progress.
“As a child and even as a high school student I used to hide from my disability. As years passed I realized there was no reason to hide. I chose Deaf Education because I wanted to stop hiding and teach children with hearing loss to advocate for themselves. It's nice to see people around you succeed but to see someone you can relate to succeed when most people expect you to fail due to your disability is motivating. I want to be that motivation for someone. Coming to Teachers College has made me realize the love and the passion I have for working with deaf and hard of hearing children. The cohort size is small allowing great opportunities to learn and to build relationships with fellow students and professors. The TC program supports my growth as both a student and an individual. I am gaining so much knowledge about our field and I know I will be well prepared once I graduate. I would recommend anyone who wants to go into the field of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education to apply to this program. Graduation is near but I will always hold TC close to my heart”.
“After teaching Deaf adults in the Middle East, I knew that I was passionate about this field and wanted the most from my graduate education. I did not want to tie myself down to one particular education philosophy or approach in Deaf education, because there is not one solution that is right for all people with hearing loss. The program in Deaf Education at Teachers College is unique in that it really prepares us to meet the needs of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students, whatever they may be. The most attractive quality of this program is that the coursework includes a broad range of education philosophies and communication methods. Additionally, the faculty is kind, approachable and flexible about meeting the needs of the graduate students. Our cohorts are tight-knit and diverse learning communities. We are constantly learning together and from one another. I truly could not have asked for more from my graduate education.”
When I knew that Deaf Education was the career that I wanted to pursue, I reached out to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at TC and heard back within a day. I visited campus a few months later, met a few professors and the rest is history. This program is exactly what I was looking for. The professors are kind, welcoming, and passionate about what they do and the students in my cohort have become some of my closest friends. I am now a Teacher of the Deaf at Listening Partners Inc., in Purchase, NY and it is truly my dream job. I have the opportunity to work with DHH students from infancy up to high school. I see the children at home, in the schools or at the office; I see them individually or in a group setting. It is great to work with such a wide variety of children and settings. The Deaf Ed program at Teachers College has taught me how to be a team player and has opened my mind to the many different perspectives that exist in this field. Once you leave here, you will be prepared for a variety of positions across the spectrum of Deaf education and no matter where you end up, you're going to love what you do.