Programs and Schedules
KELBY BRICK, ESQ., CDI
Director, Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH)
State of Maryland
“DEAF ECOSYSTEM IN SCIENCE”
“Kelby Brick has dedicated his entire career to ensuring that Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals have the same opportunities and access as everyone else,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Kelby is a tireless leader and advocate for individuals with disabilities.” Kelby led efforts in 2001 to establish the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and his appointment represents a “return to home” for him. In May 2019, Kelby was awarded The Daily Record’s 2019 Leadership in Law Award for his impact on the law and the system. Perhaps most known for his coining and advocacy of the Deaf Ecosystem increasing jobs and business ownerships among Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, Kelby’s impact has reached various aspects of everyday lives ranging from mental health services to telecommunication equity.
In 2013, Kelby founded Brick Advantage, a consulting firm that works with and advises corporations and nonprofits. Prior to that, he was a vice president of Purple Communications, Inc., where he led the company’s regulatory and strategic policy to break down communication barriers for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. While at Purple, Kelby transformed the telecommunications relay services industry—which provides full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled—by establishing a system (later adopted by the Federal Communications Commission) that enables relay equipment to be interoperable and accessible with real local phone numbers and emergency access. Prior to joining Purple, Kelby was the director for law and advocacy at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). As director, Kelby successfully mobilized NAD in establishing precedents and landmark decisions in litigation and legislative and regulatory areas while increasing NAD’s profile.
Kelby is active in numerous advocacy organizations and served as a board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities as well as on various federal and local advisory groups. In 2011, Brick was the first recipient of the Governor’s Kelby Brick Community Leadership Award, which has been given annually ever since. Brick has a Bachelor of Arts in government from Gallaudet University and a law degree from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. He is the first deaf graduate of the law school. He is also a Certified Deaf Interpreter.
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JOSEPH C. HILL, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of ASL & Interpreting Education
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
“NAVIGATING AS A DEAF SCHOLAR OF COLOR IN THE ACADEMY”
Dr. Joseph C. Hill is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). NTID is part of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Dr. Hill’s main research interests are socio-linguistic and historical aspects of the African-American variety of American Sign Language (ASL), henceforth Black ASL, and language attitudes and ideologies in the American Deaf community. Dr. Hill, a 2004 recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship and a 2008 recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, is a co-author of a Gallaudet University Press’s 2011 volume, The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure, which explores the history and language of the African-American Deaf community in the southern U.S. states and describes the linguistic structure of Black ASL. He also published another 2012 volume, Language Attitudes in the American Deaf Community, offering analysis of linguistic and social factors in language judgments and perception about signing variation in the American Deaf community.
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POORNA KUSHALNAGAR, PhD
Director, Deaf Health Communication & Quality of Life Research Lab
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
“GETTING TO THE HEART OF DEAF-HEARING COLLABORATIONS, PI-AGENCY RELATIONSHIPS, AND CO-PRODUCTIONS”
Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar received her B.A. in Psychology at Gallaudet University; M.A. in Psychology at the University of Houston; and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Houston. She completed a NIH diversity postdoctoral training in patient reported outcomes research at the Seattle Quality of Life Center at University of Washington and a NIH T32 postdoctoral fellowship in preventive medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar directs the Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Research Lab at Gallaudet University. She is the principal investigator of grants funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that total over $2 million dollars. These grants support studies aligned with her primary research interests in: (1) generic- and deaf/hh-specific quality of life outcomes; (2) adaptation and standardization of PROMIS-Deaf profile for deaf/hh adults; (3) trends of Internet usage for cancer health-related purposes; and (4) applied interventions to improve patient reported outcomes among deaf/hh people across the lifespan.
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