LU Deaf Studies, Deaf Education student chosen to present research at Language First Conference

Megan Wimberly ’12, deaf studies and deaf education doctoral student, was chosen as one of three presenters for the 2021 virtual Language First Deaf Disabled Students Mini Conference. Set to take place on June 19, the primary focus of the conference is to provide information and resources for teachers of the deaf or professionals working with students who are deaf with additional disabilities. 

Wimberly, who is also deaf because of Usher Syndrome, an inherited disorder that involves both hearing and vision loss, currently teaches English Language Arts to upper elementary deaf and hard of hearing students at Louisiana School for the Deaf. Her doctoral research analyses how deaf students with additional disabilities are overlooked as their struggles are perceived to be, from a medical standpoint, because of their "deafness" –– a feeling that she knows all too well. megan-wimberly1

“I have seen and felt the lack of knowledge of how to address the deaf child’s additional needs. I grew up facing challenges because of my progressive vision loss and I suffered based on people’s assumptions” she said. “Part of those academic struggles of deaf and disabled children can be because of professionals not being educated and being knowledgeable on how to support them. I want to change that.”

Wimberly’s presentation will take a closer look “Behind the Deaf Disabled Student’s Academic Struggle” covering strategies that can best accommodate deaf and disabled students while supporting them to reach their full potential.

“Deaf children with additional disabilities should be provided as much opportunities as a typical deaf child, but with accommodations to access those opportunities,” she said. “It is indeed an exciting milestone in my journey as a researcher.”

To learn more about the Language First Deaf Disabled Students Mini Conference or how to support deaf and disabled children professionally,