Hailing from Washington, D.C., Jonathan McMillan has a Master’s Degree in Sign Language Education and two Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and Communication Studies. Being an inveterate traveler, he has participated in various organizations such as AmeriCorps, Global Deaf Connection and World Federation of the Deaf to promote better education and quality of life for Deaf youth throughout the world. In addition to his extensive outreach work in India, Kenya, Venezuela, Finland, and USA, he spent a year as a visiting Research Assistant at Boston University for an ongoing research to assess ASL knowledge and its relationship to English reading in Deaf Children. With a team of people who specialize in Education, Language, and Communication, he is currently working on a project that focuses on developing ASL Rhymes and Rhythms digital resources for young children. He is presently a lecturer with the Communication Studies department at Gallaudet University and a Certified Deaf Interpreter. On the side, he promotes Reiki as a certified practitioner and enjoys the art of photography.
Leala Holcomb is a multigenerational Deaf, white, Euro-American, Queer, non-binary person using ze/zir/zirs pronouns. Ze received zir Bachelor’s degree in International Education from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. and Master’s degree in Deaf Education from National University in California. Leala was a preschool and family education teacher at California School for the Deaf, Fremont for a few years before moving onto new opportunities to conduct research and train teachers of the Deaf in other locations. Leala, along with other partners, created a new enterprise geared for young Deaf children known as Hands Land, which focuses on the development of educational resources through rhymes and rhythms. Leala is currently a second year Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, studying theory and practice in Deaf education through a social justice framework. Leala provides professional consultations to Deaf-based programs and schools inside and outside the United States. Leala is a fellow of the National Leadership Consortium on Sensory Disabilities (NLCSD).
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