Best Practice in Mainstream Education of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students Conference

2021 Virtual Best Practice in Mainstream Education Lecture Series

Sponsored by

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Join us to learn from and network with other education professionals working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Each lecture will be presented in two sessions—choose whichever session best fits your schedule.

The cost for each session is $10.00. Registration links for each lecture can be found below as they become available.

August 19, 2021

How to Empower Your Deaf Students to Succeed in School (and Life)

One Session: 5:00-6:30 p.m. EDT


Dr. Stephanie Cawthon
Chairperson, Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences area in Educational Psychology University of Texas at Austin

Register Online

Dr. Stephanie Cawthon

Deaf students face many systemic barriers both inside and outside of the classroom. How can we as educators and advocates empower deaf students and support their future success? This presentation focuses on opportunities to both break down barriers and build up deaf students through the power of high expectations, strong self-determination, and understanding their own journeys. This approach requires letting go of a “checklist”, one-size-fits all approach to future planning and embracing a “life design” approach that emphasizes flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration. The workshop includes ample space for dialog about where we can work individually and collectively towards dismantling barriers and supporting deaf success.

Dr. Cawthon is an internationally-renowned expert for her research that examines the multiple factors that affect how deaf and disabled people succeed in classrooms, workplaces, and at life. She investigates issues of equity and access in education, explores accommodations and accessible learning environments, and challenges systemic standards that may be holding some students back. Dr. Cawthon is currently chair of the Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences area in Educational Psychology, with a courtesy appointment in Special Education, University of Texas at Austin. She was recently named the first deaf editor of Perspectives on Deafness, an Oxford University Press international book series on research and practices with deaf people. Dr. Cawthon is also the Founding Director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. For more information, please see her website at

August 23, 2021

Register now for a free webinar made possible by our sponsor, CaptionCall.

Register Online Now

Navigating Hearing Loss in a Hearing World:
Technology Take-Aways for 2021

5:00-6:00 ET
Presenter: Stephen DeMari, MS Audiology

Director of Business Development & Education, CaptionCall

demari headshot

Families, teachers, medical professionals and the business community must work together to provide young people with hearing loss the support and resources they need to succeed.  What is your role in helping to identify what these individuals need, what rights they have, and what resources are available?  CaptionCall is a leader in technology solutions for those with hearing loss—and is proud to provide this informative webinar for anyone who plays an active role in helping these young people flourish.  It will cover challenges students and teachers face, offer solutions, and include ample time for Q&A.

This lively webinar is presented by Stephen DeMari, MS Audiology and Director of Business Development & Education for CaptionCall.  Steve has 30 years of experience working for United Healthcare Hearing, Phonak, Starkey and Sivantos, as well as managing private practice clinics.  He is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

Previous Lectures

May 20, 2021

Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Through High Leverage Practices: The Role of the Itinerant Teacher

Learn how to apply High Leverage Practices when delivering itinerant services.

Session I: 4:00-5:30 p.m. ET
Session II: 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET


M. Christina Rivera, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
University of Arizona, College of Education

Christina Rivera

High Leverage Practices (HLPs) were adopted by the Council for Exceptional Children in 2017. HLPs describe effective ways to improve outcomes for students who receive special education services in inclusive classrooms. Since the majority of deaf and hard of hearing students are placed in general education, it is important that the itinerant teachers who support them understand the HLPs so they can effectively consult with general education teachers and provide instruction to students. In this presentation, participants will better understand the HLPs and learn how to apply them when delivering itinerant services.

M. Christina Rivera, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona, and the director of the Special Education-Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Accelerated Master’s programs. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of Deaf Education as a teacher, supervisor, and researcher. Her research interests include itinerant services, literacy interventions, and instructional quality.

July 22, 2021

Technology Tips and Tools in Today's Learning Environments

Explore videoconference platforms, live captioning and automatic speech recognition captioning options and when to use either or both, a guide for which hearing assistive technologies may work best for your students, and other helpful resources.

One Session: 5:00-6:30 p.m. ET


Tina Childress, Au.D.
Educational Audiologist

Urbana School District, Urbana, Illinois


Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A

Keeping current on technology trends has been important during these times whether we're working with DHH students in person and/or virtually.   They seem to evolve every day.  This presentation will look at a variety of situations including:  DHH-friendly features of videoconference platforms whether they are using captioning or interpreters; (remote microphone) hearing assistive technology updates including a guide for determining what technologies may work best for your student; a review of live captioning and ASR captioning options and when to use either/both; and, helpful resources to access later. 

Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A is an educational audiologist in the mainstream and residential school settings, technology and social media aficionado, late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient who is fluent in ASL. With her unique perspective and passion for sharing information through social media, she is a sought out international presenter and adjunct lecturer to families, adults and professionals on a variety of topics but especially accessibility through (Hearing) Assistive Technology, apps and other online supports at work, home, school and in the community, including during these pandemic times. Dr. Childress is active on many local and national Boards and Committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources.

Part of a problem or a part of a solution?: Why Culturally Relevant/Sustaining Pedagogy matters.

Explore Culturally Relevant and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies and practical ways they can be applied in mainstream deaf education programs. 

Session I: 4:00-5:30 p.m. ET
Session II: 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET


Gloshanda Lawyer, Ph.D.
Founder and Consultant

COCOA Language, Advocacy and Consulting, LLC

Onudeah Nicolarakis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Gallaudet University, Department of Education

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Gloshanda Lawyer, Ph.D. and Onudeah Nicolarakis, Ph.D.

In recent years, anti-racism, anti-bias teaching and culturally relevant teaching have been "hot" topics as a result of recent reckonings in United States society. We have long discussed disparities within society and education with research studies to show the achievement gaps that result from these disparities. In this presentation, we position the status quo as a problem in mainstream education and show how these problems have also impacted Deaf Education. We discuss Culturally Relevant and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies as approaches that challenge the status quo. We provide examples of how Culturally Relevant and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies could be applied in mainstream Deaf Education programs. We provide practical ways for Deaf Education professionals working in mainstream environments to apply these pedagogies. 

Onudeah Nicolarakis, Ph.D.

Dr. Onudeah “Oni” Nicolarakis is an assistant professor at Gallaudet University's Department of Education. She has been an educator for 15 years, having served DDBDDHH and Hearing students ranging in ages from 3 to adulthood, and used multimodal approaches to provide access in academic and social content. Dr. Oni has presented multiple times on topics such as the intersections of race and disability. Currently, her areas of interest are in producing counter narratives of the writing experience for the DDBDDHH community and redirecting attention to the advantages of the intersectional experiences from people within marginalized communities.

Gloshanda Lawyer, Ph.D.

Dr. Gloshanda Lawyer is a Language Justice and Disability Justice practitioner. She also conducts community-based, local, national and international research on critical theory, colonization of DDBDDHH body/minds and Deaf Education. She provides workshops, trainings, and consultations on multilingualism and DDBDDHH populations in the United States and the Global South. She's been an educator and interpreter for more than 10 years. She also is a professor of Deaf Studies and Interpreter Education.

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