Deaf Leadership International Alliance

DLIA Webinar

Deaf Leadership International Alliance (DLIA) presented a webinar focusing on tips for collaborating with deaf adults in early intervention. During the webinar a panel of deaf professionals discussed deaf adult involvement in early intervention programs from China, Iran, New Zealand, and United States.

This event was made possible with support from the Hunter College School of Education

Natasha Cloete

Natasha is the First Signs team leader at Deaf Aotearoa. First Signs was established in 2014 and Natasha was one of the first Facilitators conducting home visits and supporting families with deaf /hard of hearing children 0-5yrs.

Since then Natasha has moved into a leadership role and is now leading a team of Deaf staff throughout the country. Natasha also collaborates with health and education providers to ensure the families receive a wraparound service. Natasha is dedicated to seeing the First Signs service go from strength to strength to ensure that all families with deaf children are able to access NZSL in the early years and that Deaf adults are provided training and employment opportunities to share their knowledge and skills with families.

Jodee Crace

Jodee Crace carries with her a motto in her daily life: Adapt. Resilience. Acceptance. Celebrate! This personal motto has carried Jodee throughout her professional career in providing resources for families learning, navigating, and embracing the world of raising their deaf babies and young children.

Previously, Jodee started-up and coordinated ASL Connect | Families at Gallaudet University. Meanwhile, Jodee continues to provide direct deaf mentoring services in Indiana as well as coach several states' Deaf Mentors. In addition, she serves as adjunct instructor for Gallaudet's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program.

Jodee holds a B.A. in American Studies and an M.A. in School Counseling with Deaf Students, both from Gallaudet University. Jodee then began her professional career as a therapist for a mental-health agency in Indianapolis, where she worked with deaf children and their families.

From 1992 to 2013 Jodee performed several counseling and early intervention roles at the Indiana School for the Deaf, her high school alma mater. Throughout her career, she has served in a number of roles dedicated to enhancing Early Intervention services for families with Deaf children. She is one of three national trainers for the SKI-HI Deaf Mentor program. Also, Jodee participated on the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, representing the Council on Education of the Deaf. She was instrumental in ensuring that the JCIH Best Practice document reflected a holistic approach for the families and that the ASL is included as a visual language in its publication.

For self-reflecting moments, Jodee enjoys walking, reading and being with her family.

Rouzbeh Ghahreman

I am Deaf from birth. I grew up in an educated family; my father was a well-known poet and researcher in Persian literature and my mother is a retired well-known teacher of the deaf for 30 years. I completed my master's degree in history in my homeland. I enjoyed the opportunity to be a member of the research group of Persian Sign Language (PSL) at University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWRS); the research group successfully published the dictionary of Farsi words and signs (volume three) in 1999. I authored several articles include sign language studies for the first Encyclopedia of the Deaf in Iran after research, analyses and evaluation for several years - all three encyclopedia volumes (1420 pages) published in 2005. I have worked extensively as an educator with elementary and secondary Deaf students and their families in Toronto, Ottawa, and Edmonton since 2004. I attended University of Alberta in 2009 and I completed my master's degree in special education with a focus on Deaf education and completed all of requires courses in Special Education - PhD level. From 2009 through to 2015 I gained university teaching experience as the Sessional Instructor for teaching the course of Introduction to Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, a senior level undergraduate course in the Faculty of Education. This course is focused on providing pre-service teachers with an understanding of the educational needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. I was awarded the Graduate Teaching Award from the Graduate Students Association (GSA), University of Alberta in February 2012. Additionally, I have taught as a full-time LINC ASL instructor to teach ASL and English as second language to Deaf newcomers to Canada at NorQuest College in Edmonton for two years. These experiences have provided an excellent opportunity for me to act as a Deaf role model as I teach hearing students about a variety of topics, foremost of which are language and culture.

Sheng Li

I am identifying myself as a Deaf Asian man because I was born in Shanghai, China and I grew up as a Deaf male for whole of my life. I was born to a full Deaf family except my mother. When I was nineteen years old, I decided to attend Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. after I completed my high school studies at Shanghai Youth Technical School for the Deaf in China. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Graphic Design in May 2005 and a Master of Education degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Deaf Education in May 2007 there. After my studies at Gallaudet University, I began my teaching journey at Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., then moved to Virginia School for the Deaf in Staunton, VA, and Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, PA. In summer 2015, I decided to relocate to New Mexico for a fulltime teaching position to teach art classes for early childhood education to twelfth grade students at New Mexico School for the Deaf (NMSD) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.