Deaf and Hard of Hearing Connectivity Series

The first session of the DHH series invited NTID DHH women participants to develop an agenda for future events. Examples of DHH Connectivity series offerings include discussions with hearing and DHH guests regarding barriers to advancement and strategies for achieving career goals, a panel of experts discussing how to develop proposals for external funding, a meeting with the NTID Dean, and advice regarding building international networks and partnerships. Sessions take a range of formats including on campus events and teleconference events using the NTID CISCO teleconference system. This is an important feature of the series since the population of DHH women academics and professionals is relatively small and often are located fart from RIT; teleconferencing allows DHH NTID women faculty to interact with colleagues nationally and internationally. A subset of the participants in the career goal sessions decided to work on individualized career planning through collaborative meetings. 

Another participant submitted a competitive internal proposal for bringing an internationally known DHH woman to campus; the proposal was funded through a Connect Grant offered through an ADVANCE initiative and as a result Dr. Liisa Kauppenin (recipient of the 2013 United Nations Human Rights Award and former president of the World Federation of the Deaf) presented in both an open session to the university and in special session to DHH women.

Feedback is collected via paper survey at the end of each session. Results indicate a high level of satisfaction with the events and have generated ideas for future events. Examples of Likert questions focused on the degree to which the session was useful, related to career goals, involved presenters knowledgeable presenters, and whether achieved stated objectives. The average response was between 4.25-4.7 on a scale of 1-5. The Connectivity series is entirely managed by the DHH members of the team.

During the third year of the grant, the Connectivity Series team received requests, concerns and complaints from other faculty, including hearing men and women, DHH men, and hearing Faculty of Color. These colleagues believed that that they could also benefit from attending Connectivity Series sessions, and requested that they be open to all. The team considered these requests and, with the support of NTID President Buckley who provided additional funding, the DHH Connectivity Series expanded to include two formats - one a smaller and closed session for DHH women only and a second session open to all NTID and RIT faculty.


A February 2017 workshop was presented by Nancy Hlibok Amann. Nancy Hlibok Amann is the superintendent of California School for the Deaf in Riverside. She earned bachelor and master degrees in Government and Administration from Gallaudet University, and worked at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind in various positions before earning her Ph.D. in bi-literacy and reading from the University of Arizona. She became a literacy specialist and in 2006, a school administrator. In 2013, Hlibok Amann became the director of Special Projects and Development at Deaf Community Services in San Diego, and then a high school teacher in the San Diego Unified School District.

This presentation had three sessions over the course of two days, and was for deaf women in administration, including a session for all faculty regarding the past, present, and future of deaf education.