Boston College - DB
Communication allows one to access the world around them. As a teacher of students with severe special needs, including deaf-blindness, I feel that communication is the central aspect of their education. It allows the child access to their environment and empowers the individual to make change in their lives. This understanding was a driving force throughout my master’s education in deaf-blindness, and it also led me to become a member of the initial cohort of the Helen Keller Fellows.
Working with other teacher-leaders in deaf-blindness as a member of the Helen Keller Fellows provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the research available in deaf-blindness, knowledge of best-practices within the field and many opportunities to make connections with other professionals throughout the country. As a part of my fellowship experience, I was able to work with the California Deaf-Blind Services for a two-week internship, where I viewed model educational programs, gained exposure to the wide array of services the organization provides and then also share my experience with the other fellows. Ultimately, working as a part of the Helen Keller Fellows has allowed me to share the knowledge I gained from the experience with other teachers within my school and district, to better serve children with deaf-blindness.
In September 2010, I transitioned out of the classroom to pursue doctoral studies at Boston College. Through the National Consortium for Sensory Disabilities, I am working towards a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction, focusing on deaf-blindness. With this degree, my hope is to continue adding to the research in the field of deaf-blindness while also work to better prepare teachers and provide them the array of skills they will require to work with this specialized population.