x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
February 28, 2014
8:00am - 6:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Washington DC, DC
United States

Gallaudet University hosted TEDxGallaudet*that featured four sessions, with five 15-minute presentations in each session, totaling 20 presentations. for more information

800 Florida Ave NE
Washington DC, DC, 20002
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ben Bahan

Benjamin J. Bahan is a professor of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University. He is known for his works in American Sign Language literature as a storyteller and writer covering Deaf Cultural Studies. He is known for his works on the stories "The Ball Story" and "Birds of a Different Feather", book - A Journey into the Deaf-World (1996) with Robert J. Hoffmeister and Harlan Lane. Bahan also co-wrote and co-directed the film Audism Unveiled (2008) with his colleague Dirksen Bauman. After graduating from New Jersey School for the Deaf, Bahan attended Gallaudet University and received bachelor's degree in Biology in 1978. Afterwards, he worked at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, California where he researched American Sign Language linguistics and acquisition. Around that time he joined his college roommate in setting up DawnSignPress - a publishing company that publishes ASL and Deaf Cultural materials. Later he attended Boston University and received his doctorate degree in Applied Linguistics. During his studies at Boston University, Bahan coordinated and taught at the Deaf Studies Program in the School of Education. In 1996, he returned "home" to Gallaudet University. Bahan's academic interests range from American Sign Language Literature, Linguistics and Cultural Studies. His enjoys creating, exploring and experimenting with different ideas along these academic domains. Bahan is part of the Motion Lab - a space where creative literature meets experimental media to create new knowledge. This project was done with members of the Motion Lab and students in his DST 735 Visual Studies course.

Thomas Baldridge

Thomas F. Baldridge is the Director of Gallaudet University's Business Administration program and has taught filmmaking and honors interdisciplinary courses as well as business courses since joining the faculty in 1993. He currently teaches business ethics, business law, global business and entrepreneurship, particularly social entrepreneurship. For the past two years he has partnered with colleague Dr. Alim Chandani to promote social entrepreneurship through teaching classes as well as mentoring student initiatives such as the Boomerang Café in LLRH6, the ThinkBiz student entrepreneurship organization, and an annual student business plan competition. Professor Baldridge also facilitated Gallaudet's first-ever Student Think Tank in Spring 2013, which is the subject of another TEDx presentation at this forum. The ultimate goal is to establish a culture of student entrepreneurship, innovation and empowerment on Gallaudet University's campus and to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to make Gallaudet a changemaker institution. Professor Baldridge earned an A.B. at Harvard University, a JD and MBA at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema at the University of Southern California. He also earned a certificate in International Business Management from Georgetown University and studied at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Before joining the faculty at Gallaudet, he was an attorney licensed in California and Indiana, and a writer/director of documentary and short children's films, including So Long Silence, Tobey's Tale and The Clean Club.

Alim Chandani

Alim Chandani, Ph.D, is a veteran of TEDx talks as he presented about the cross-cultural "Peer to Peer" approach at the first annual TEDxIslay forum in Austin, Texas in 2010. Dr. Chandani has been working in the field of international development and social entrepreneurship since 2007, when he founded and became Executive Director of Global Reach Out Initiative, Inc. (GRO), a global non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that has connected over 1,000 deaf individuals worldwide through cross-cultural educational delegations and empowerment workshops. At Gallaudet, Dr. Chandani has partnered with Professor Thomas Baldridge to promote social entrepreneurship by teaching classes on the topic as well as mentoring student initiatives such as the Boomerang Café in LLRH6, the ThinkBiz student entrepreneurship organization, and sponsoring an annual student business plan competition. Their ultimate goal is to establish a culture of student entrepreneurship and innovation on Gallaudet University's campus and to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to make Gallaudet a changemaker institution. Dr. Chandani's research interests also include assessing the quality of educational services for deaf students at universities in India, and facilitating opportunities for them to gain the confidence and skills necessary for successful careers post-matriculation. Dr. Chandani obtained his doctorate in Administration and Supervision in Special Education from Gallaudet University in April 2013. Currently, Dr. Chandani is a Student Success Specialist coordinating the peer mentorship program for first year students at Gallaudet University.

Dirksen Bauman

Dirksen Bauman is Professor of Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University where he serves as Department Chair, Coordinator for the MA program in Deaf Studies and Coordinator for the Office of Bilingual Teaching and Learning. He is the co-editor of the book/DVD project, Signing the Body Poetic: Essays in American Sign Language (University of California Press, 2006), editor of Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and co-editor of Deaf-Gain: Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity, (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming). Dirksen Bauman is also a producer and co-director of the film Audism Unveiled (2008). He currently serves as Co-Executive Editor of the Deaf Studies Digital Journal (, the world's first peer reviewed academic and cultural arts journal to feature scholarship and creative work in both signed and written languages.

Hansel Bauman

Hansel Bauman is an architect currently serving as the Gallaudet University Campus Architect and is the founding partner of Hansel Bauman architect + planner (hb a+p). Over twenty years, Mr. Bauman has developed a diverse, international portfolio of projects that enhance cultural and sensory experiences within buildings for academic, civic, industrial, and residential uses. His work also includes urban and campus planning projects in the United States and China. In collaboration with the ASL Deaf Studies Department at Gallaudet University Mr. Bauman founded the DeafSpace Project in 2006-a research and campus design project leading to the development of the "DeafSpace Design Guide". Since 2006 he has served as a design consultant on a range of projects serving the deaf community including the Rocky Mountain Deaf School, DeafHope, a transitional housing community for abused deaf women and Deaf Village, Ireland. While at Gallaudet University he has overseen the development of the 2022 Campus Plan, the design and construction of the university's newest student residence hall and consulted on the design vision for the redevelopment of the 6th Street corridor adjacent the Gallaudet campus. Mr. Bauman has taught at Gallaudet University and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. His writings include "DeafSpace: Architecture for a More Sustainable and Livable World" in the forthcoming The New Normal: Deaf Gain and the Future of Human Diversity by Minnesota Press and "The Power of Place: The Evolution of Kendall Green," with Dr. Ben Bahan, published in A Fair Chance in the Race of Life, 2007, Gallaudet Press. He has lectured extensively including the American Institute of Architects' International Conference, 2012; Disabilities and Public Space at the University of Oslo, Norway, 2011 and the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 2010. His work on the DeafSpace Guidelines has been published in METROPOLIS magazine and online publications including The Atlantic / CITIES and WIRED. In 2012 Mr. Bauman joined the American National Standards Institute', A117.1 Accessible Buildings Committee representing the National Association of the Deaf and has contributed to the development of Ireland's national Universal Design guidelines.

Beth Benedict

Beth Benedict is a professor at the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University, and is also the coordinator of Gallaudet's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. She has published numerous articles and is a widely sought after lecturer on diverse topics including early intervention, early language acquisition, and family involvement. Dr. Benedict is currently the chair of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing and representing the Council on Education of the Deaf. Dr. Benedict is the president of the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) from 2007 to 2011, and 2013 - present. ASDC is the oldest organization of, by, and for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children ( In 2010, she received the prestigious Anotonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence at the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention conference in Chicago, Illinois along with numerous awards. Dr. Benedict holds a Ph.D. degree in education from Gallaudet University, a master's degree in education counseling from New York University, and a bachelor's degree from Gallaudet in psychology. She is married to Dwight Benedict and is also a proud mother of two deaf daughters, Rachel (25) and Lauren (23).

Patrick Boudreault

Patrick Boudreault grew up in a quadrilingual and bilingual community in Quebec. He is a native signer of Langue des Signes Québécoise and American Sign Language, and is fluent in written French and English. Dr. Boudreault is currently a visiting professor with Graduate Studies and Research at Gallaudet University. He serves as co-principal investigator with Dr. Christina Palmer of the University of California, Los Angeles on a grant from the National Cancer Institute on implementing online cancer genetics education in ASL to increase the Deaf community's access to culturally and linguistically appropriate materials ( He is also co-editor with Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Gallaudet University, of the upcoming Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. He founded CommunicaSigne, a sign language consulting and interpreting service in Canada, which contributed to the expansion of bilingual signed language and translation services in ASL/LSQ. He also co-founded in 2011, an innovative sign language interpreting service based on community self-determination. He enjoys travel around the world and meeting people, and is an avid mountain biker. Dr. Boudreault earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg in 2006; a M.Sc. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from McGill University, Montreal; and a B.A. in Linguistics from Université du Québec à Montréal.

John Collins

Having read over 500 articles related to productivity, psychology and Getting Things Done, John M. Collins has been fascinated with productivity since 2007. As a 20-year veteran of the Lexington School for the Deaf and collegiate educator, he is in a unique position to integrate the fields of productivity, psychology and education. His wide variety of teaching experiences includes deaf middle school, high school, and recent immigrant students as well as undergraduate deaf and hearing students. He holds a Master's Degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University and a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego. John currently serves as the Coordinator for the Deaf Studies Program at LaGuardia Community College where he has been teaching American Sign Language and Deaf Sociology since 2009.

Tyrone Giordano

Tyrone Giordano is best known for his work on the stage and screen, having worked both as an actor and as a translator. Tyrone played the lead role of Huckleberry Finn in Deaf West Theatre's Tony-honored Big River on Broadway, earning a nomination for the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. He also played the title role in Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Tyrone has also acted on television and film, notably in The Family Stone, A Lot Like Love, The Next Three Days, and CSI. He has worked as an ASL translator not only on projects he performs in, but as a Director of Artistic Sign Language (DASL) most recently with the critically-acclaimed Cyrano at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles and for Tribes at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. In addition to working as an artist, Tyrone has taught at the university level since 2006, having worked at CSUN, UCLA, and GWU, covering a range of topics from ASL to Deaf Theatre and Deaf Literature. He is proud member of the Gallaudet teaching community since starting in the Fall of 2012.

Christopher John Heuer

Christopher Jon Heuer, Ph.D. earned his doctorate from George Mason University in 2010 and is a professor of English at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Bug: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution and All Your Parts Intact: Poems. His writing has additionally appeared in many anthologies and magazines (most recently Deaf Lit Extravaganza, Deaf American Prose, and Deaf American Poetry: An Anthology). He has presented both nationally and internationally on topics ranging from the impact of cybernetic technology on the Deaf community to the ways in which hearing parents guide and educate their deaf children. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Amy, and son, Jack.

Peter Hauser

Peter C. Hauser, Ph.D. is the Director of the Deaf Studies Laboratory (DSL) in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. At DSL, he studies the cognitive, language, and psychosocial aspects of the Deaf experience. DSL is also where Dr. Hauser directs the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Rochester Bridges to Doctorate program, which recruits and trains the nation's top Deaf scholars for biomedical and behavioral science careers. He is also the National Science Mentorship Leader for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University. He has co-authored several books, published in over 40 peer review journal articles, and presented his work nationally and internationally.

Corinna Hill

Corinna Hill is currently a senior undergraduate student at Gallaudet University with the plan to turn her tassel this May. Corinna is a History major and Criminology minor. She is originally from Texas and moved to Maryland when she was twelve. After graduating from Maryland School for the Deaf, she entered Gallaudet University. During her time here at Gallaudet, Corinna has been a part of several organizations such as The Buff and Blue student newspaper. She is going to now shamelessly plug information here, please go check out if you haven't! She would like to take the time to thank her friends and family for listening to her ramble and putting up with her constant pacing. Corinna is very passionate about her topic and cannot thank her loved ones enough for all their support. Oh and in her free time, Corinna enjoys writing about herself in the third person.

Marlon Kuntze

Marlon Kuntze is an associate professor in education at Gallaudet University with research interests in language and literacy development especially as they concern learning American Sign Language and written English among deaf children who are raised bilingually. He is interested in the typological characteristics of ASL and how ASL in spite of being typologically different from English is able to support the acquisition of English in the written form. It gives him an important angle for formulating a theory of how deaf children are able to learn to read and write without knowing spoken English. He believes that the role ASL plays in the acquisition of English skills is that it provides the child with access to knowledge and understanding which underlie the key process of reading which is that of making sense of meaning. Early in career, he taught high school English before going Stanford University for his doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Culture. Later he worked as a post doc with Dan Slobin on psycholinguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to Gallaudet, he taught at Boston University where he was a director of the Programs in Deaf Studies and was an affiliated faculty in Applied Linguistics.

Ben Lewis

Benjamin Lewis, the first Deaf lecturer to work on the ASL program at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is passionate about flying hands. Fluent in not only ASL, but also Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), he is fascinated by watching not only Deaf people, but humans in general who also use their hands to communicate with others, incorporating not only signs but gestures and visual movements being but a few examples. These interesting observations will be expanded upon at the TEDx talk, which will expand your mind to other visual possibilities that current exist. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Benjamin is a proud alumnus of California School for the Deaf in Fremont (CSDF) and Gallaudet University, where he completed his B.A. in Communication Studies and Graphic Design. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Tokyo, Japan as an ASL Instructor, and with a passion for resources, published a popular 'Easy ASL Book' for Japanese students wanting to learn ASL in an accessible way. He then travelled further down-under to New Zealand, where he was employed as the national Communications Manager for Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand and one of his major projects was the country's NZSL Week, a unique and well-known week, which promotes NZSL which is an official language in New Zealand. With that under his belt, he then completed his M.A. in Sign Language Teaching at Gallaudet University (2012), and went on to work with Chinese Hong Kong University, working towards preparing Deaf students from multiple countries to become certified sign language instructors in their respective countries. He now lives and works in Los Angeles, and continues to be involved in the sign language world, and has been the keynote presenter for a number of sign language conferences, with two of them being the NZSL Teachers Association (NZSLTA) conference in Christchurch, New Zealand (2012), and the American Sign Language Teaching Association (ASLTA) conference in Charlotte, North Carolina (2013). Benjamin is currently working on a number of exciting digital projects.

Melissa Malzkuhn

As Digital Innovation & Media Strategies Manager, Melissa Malzkuhn leads and develops creative projects translating research findings into educational resources at the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning at Gallaudet University. Released in early 2013, The Baobab is the first of planned ASL/English bilingual storybook apps for young children. She also serves as a Co-Executive Editor of Deaf Studies Digital Journal, having previously being the Managing Editor, where she oversaw the launch of the journal. With a passion for interactive and immersive storytelling, Melissa Malzkuhn leads Motion Lab, where creative literature meets digital technology. Melissa Malzkuhn is currently pursuing her MFA in Visual Narrative at the School of Visual Arts, in New York City. Connect with her @mezmalz and

Liz Stone Nirenberg

iz Stone Nirenberg is a Major Gifts Development Officer at Gallaudet University and is the current Board Chair of DAWN, a Washington, D.C.-based domestic violence and sexual assault agency serving deaf survivors. Liz has more than fifteen years of expertise in non-profit organizational sustainability and development. Prior to her current position, she was Project Manager at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and an Assistant Director for Individual Giving and Foundation Relations at Gallaudet, where her work supported the establishment of the James L. Sorenson Language and Communication Center. Her community development work includes founding DAWN's annual signature fundraising event, BOOTS. Before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2003, she served as Educational Coordinator at the pioneering Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS) agency in Seattle, Washington. She, along with Marilyn J. Smith, founder and former executive director of ADWAS, trained deaf communities across the country to replicate ADWAS' model as part of the Justice for Deaf Victims National Training project funded by the United States Department of Justice. Later in her career, Liz also worked at Vera Institute of Justice's Accessing Safety Initiative, as a technical assistance provider focusing on capacity building and systems change for grantees that were funded by the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. Liz received her Bachelor's in Social Work at Rochester Institute of Technology and her MPA at American University's School of Public Affairs, with a concentration in nonprofit management and fundraising. She was also named an Emerging Scholar at The Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy. Liz knows that fundraising can be fun, inspiring, and transcendent, and sees philanthropy as a way to connect different people to change the world, one action at a time. Her vision is to support emerging deaf philanthropists to become visionaries who "think big" for all deaf people, and for all humanity.

Wanda Ridle

From a deaf family, Wanda Riddle was raised in the South. A faculty member at Gallaudet University since 2009, she has taught General Studies, Advanced ASL and ASL major courses. Instructor Riddle coordinated the ASL Immersion Program 2011 - 2013, a program for emerging signers to enhance their sign language skills. Since 2011, she is the coordinator of ASL Placement Test, a test designed for the placement of incoming students in ASL classes. She enjoys gardening, outdoor activities and ASL storytelling. Specializations: ASL Depiction, Sign Language Acquisition, Language Assessment, ASL Elocution, Sociolinguistics in Sign Language Communities, Deaf Studies, and History of Sign Languages.

Joseph Santini

oseph R. Santini II is a teacher, writer, blogger, and artist. As a certified English teacher he has worked in public schools for six years. He is currently performing ethnographic research for his Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners at Gallaudet University after earning his MSc in Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol, UK, and a Master's in secondary education from the City College of New York. He has been a contributing author for Deaf American Prose, the Lesson Plans blogging group of the New York Times, and currently is a contributing writer for Noodle, and earned the Best Emerging Artist Award for his short film "...let us spell it out for you" at the Superfest film festival in 2007. In addition to his current research on the experience of bilingualism, Santini is also interested in exploring the power of expectations in Deaf education, bilingual development for children and school leadership in bilingual institutions.

Robert Sirvage

Robert T. Sirvage, DeafSpace Design Researcher. Venturing outside the pasture of Connaught, just north of the St. Lawrence Seaway, to chase the butterfly of the immeasurable. Along the way, Sirvage amassed experiences and honed his investigative skills within the following fields - History, Social Work, and Deaf Studies. His Master's in Deaf Studies thesis, "Investigating the Navigational Proxemics," led him to work for the Gallaudet University Office of Campus Design and Planning as a design researcher, specializing in DeafSpace. Sirvage travels across the country to promote DeafSpace as a design philosophy by giving presentations and participating in architectural projects, such as the Rocky Mountain Deaf School in Colorado and the Living and Learning Residence Hall 6, a new residential hall at the heart of Kendall Green at Gallaudet.

Damien Spillane

My name is Damien Spillane. I am Deaf and fluent in American Sign Language. At the moment, I am currently a first year graduate student, pursuing a MA in Cultural Studies at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. I am originally from Fremont, California. I have two bachelor degrees: Communication Studies from Gallaudet University in 2010, and Deaf Studies from California State University of Northridge in 2013. After pursuing my master's degree in Cultural Studies, I want to be a professor in any higher education setting. I want to teach a diverse range of topics including the dynamics of oppression, "-isms", and Deaf culture, all with a focus on making a difference in society, changing and challenging ideologies, and improving partnerships between communities.

Fred Weiner

Fred Weiner is a native New Yorker, attending New York City public schools and spending much of his free time in the city's playgrounds and streets. It was during those years that he was exposed to an amazing array of people from all walks of life which profoundly shaped his views of the world. Fred left NYC to attend Gallaudet University, but it's fair to say that NYC has never left Fred. Since that time, Fred has worked in many different settings including a deaf school, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, the Federal government, the United States Congress, a Fortune 500 corporation and of course, Gallaudet University. Working in such varied settings has given him opportunities to appreciate and value the many different perspectives that others bring to the table, and how those perspectives can help make the world a better place. Fred has been working at Gallaudet for nearly fifteen years and currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Administration. One of his projects is the development of Gallaudet's properties on 6th Street which aims to turn the area into an exciting part of the neighborhood where members of the Gallaudet community, neighborhood residents and visitors will live, work, dine and spend their leisure hours. This project is, in part, what shaped his TEDx presentation. Fred and his wife, Lynn, hope to retire to New York City where he can spend his retirement years giving small intimate tours of the city for visitors who use ASL.

Organizing team


Washington, DC, United States
  • Gemma Gabor
    Gallaudet Staff
  • Brian Suchite
    GSA President
  • Hayley McBride
    SBG President
  • MJ Bienvenu
    GU 150th Anniversary Chair & Faculty
  • Caroline Solomon
  • Kaitlin Luna
    Coordinator of Media and Public Relations
  • Sue Jacoby
    Executive Director Planning, Development, and Dissemination Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center