Supporting the Success of Online Students who are Deaf

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

One social justice victory of online education is the ability to expand access to higher education and serve a diverse student body.  This interactive session will give instructors and administrators the chance to share strategies and tools for supporting the success of students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

Sponsored By


Matthea Marquart has focused her professional life on education and training, both online and in person, since 2005. She currently serves as the Director of Administration for the Online Campus at Columbia University's School of Social Work, where she created the award-winning Institute on Pedagogy and Technology for Online Courses. She also serves as an instructor for Master's of Science in Social Work courses. Matthea's prior professional experience includes roles as National Director of Training at Building Educated Leaders for Life, President of the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and Director of Foundation and Government Relations at Inform, Inc. She has also worked internationally, in England, South Korea, and Spain. Matthea holds an MS in Social Work from Columbia University and a BA in English from Emory University, where she completed a year at Oxford University and additional coursework at UC Berkeley. She has been a Network for Social Work Management Policy Fellow, a United Way of NYC Senior Fellow in the Nonprofit Leadership Development Institute at Baruch College, a member of the Community Resources Exchange Leadership Caucus, and a blogger for New York Nonprofit Press. She earned a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Business by completing online business courses at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies, which has helped her understand the student perspective of taking online courses. She completed OLC's IELOL (Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning) program in 2018, and is enrolled in the Council on Social Work Education's 2019-20 Program Director Academy. She was honored to receive the Network for Social Work Management's Exemplar Award in 2019 for exemplary performance and leadership as a social work executive leader. She enjoys writing and speaking about the unique opportunities and challenges of online instruction, and welcomes invitations to speak or facilitate workshops. She has published a dozen training and education-related articles since 2006, and her latest publications include the article Taking Online Social Work Courses -- 7 Professional Benefits, and the book chapters How Co-Teaching and Other Strategies Promote Lively Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies for Synchronous Components of Online Courses, and That Human Element: Fostering Instructor Presence Through Online Instructional Videos. She has presented at numerous conferences, including the Online Learning Consortium's Accelerate Conference, the Social Work Distance Education Conference, the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace, and The eLearning Guild New England Regional Instructional Design Symposium.

Additional Authors

Dr. Beth Counselman Carpenter has been an online and residential full time lecturer at the Columbia University School of Social Work before joining the clinical faculty at Southern Connecticut State University as they prepare to launch their on-line DSW Program. Beth has designed and taught extensively in the synchronous online platform, with her expertise focusing on developing live experiential exercises to teach clinical practice, anti-oppressive learning pedagogy and she is the recipient of the Provost's RFP grant to flip a residential classroom in which advanced practice students had to develop and implement a technologically mediated final project to deliver services to clients. Beth is also has a private practice treating trauma, grief, anxiety and mood disorders residentially and in telebehavioral health format. Dr. Counselman Carpenter has a BA from the University of Richmond, an MSW from New York University and a PhD in Social Work from Adelphi University.

Extended Abstract

Online courses with synchronous components generally include audio elements in the form of live virtual classes;  homework assignments that include videos, podcasts, or other media; and student-generated media assignments such as introductory videos or video role plays.  To enable students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing to fully participate in these courses, school administrators and instructors need to be ready with tools and strategies, such as live captioners or American Sign Language translators, media captioners, and plans for inclusive lessons.

This interactive session will provide a forum for those with experience supporting the success of students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing to share their experiences, and for those without experience to learn and ask questions.  The goals for this session include:

  • Sharing concrete tools and resources that can support online students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing 
  • Sharing strategies for inclusive lesson planning and instructional design
  • Identifying areas where institutions can better prepare to support students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing