Feb. 14-16

"Empowering ASL in the Community"


Thanks to all who attended the 2020 Conference! For presenter PowerPoints and handouts, CLICK HERE.

Link to Debbie Colbert's presentation

Meet the Presenters

Scroll down or click a presenter's image to learn more about them! 

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FASLTA is honored to collaborate with TRUE+WAY ASL to create the best conference yet! The TWA team, Raychelle Harris, Tracy Shannon, and Lisa Gilineau, will be hosting workshops all day Sunday. 



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Janice Smith Warshaw, from the third generation Deaf family, was raised in Columbia, S.C. Janice received her B.S. in Management Science from the University of South Carolina, M.A. in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College, Ed.S. in Change Leadership from Gallaudet University, and Ed.D. in Leadership for Educational Justice from the University of Redlands. Janice is currently an Assistant Professor/Coordinator of Deaf Education Program at California State University, Fresno since 2015. Besides her 22+ years in Deaf Education, Janice also worked at many different community colleges as an adjunct ASL instructor and taught ASL classes to the parents of Deaf children at the schools for the Deaf. Janice holds a master-level ASLTA certification. In July 2017, she was appointed to serve on the Board of American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) as the Professional Development Director; Vice President from January to March 2019. She is currently serving as President since March 2019. 


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Mary Luczki is Deaf, from an extended Deaf family. The dog, however, was hearing but of course, learned ASL! Her family was very involved in the Deaf community, so from a very early age, Mary was exposed to many different styles of communication, and was always curious about how and why people communicate the way they do. She has been teaching ASL classes, workshops and seminars in a variety of settings, including schools, universities and colleges, and workplaces for over 40 years. She currently resides in Michigan, and has presented workshops in many states besides Michigan, including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Minnesota.  She also gave a presentation on the Miranda Warning at an APA Conference in Denver in the 90’s, which she developed while working for the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan.

She has worked with Deaf people in a variety of settings, such as schools, colleges, vocational centers, mental health clinics, and many others.  She has taught and mentored interpreters for over 30 years.

For eight years, she did online news stories and other types of stories in ASL, all of which are now available for free on YouTube.  There are plans to resume that work via the YouTube Channel.

Through the years, she has analyzed the differences between ASL and English, and Hearing and Deaf interactions.  This has resulted in many workshops for the Deaf community, and these workshops are now being converted into DVDs.

So far, she has produced two DVDs, Fingerspelling Strategies in 2007 (which is currently being revised to match the format of later DVDs), and English vs. ASL: A Grammatical Analysis in 2014 (DVD with workbook), with several more in the planning stages.

She worked for nearly 10 years at Baker College in Michigan, as an instructor in the ITP program, which recently closed.  She currently works at the Michigan School for the Deaf in the ASL Resource Center.



Third generation Deaf and a native ASL signer, Raychelle Harris received her Bachelors in American Sign Language (ASL) from Gallaudet University and Masters in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in 1995 and 2000, respectively. Raychelle has been teaching ASL as a first and second language since 1993.  She returned to Gallaudet University for her doctoral studies in the areas of education and linguistics, with her dissertation topic focused on ASL discourse in academic settings. In 2008, Raychelle joined Gallaudet University’s Department of Interpretation as a faculty member. Since 2009, Raychelle has been teaching with the Department of ASL & Deaf Studies, preparing future ASL teachers in the Masters in Sign Language Education program in online, hybrid and onsite formats.  Raychelle holds Professional Certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) and is certified with the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) and a Texas Court Interpreter.  



Tiri Fellows will be teaching a workshop on Acquisition and Retention of ASL in Adult (Hearing) Learners in College Credit ASL Courses. She currently teaches at St. Johns River State College, St. Augustine/Orange Park Campus.


Ben Jarashow, a California native, graduated from Gallaudet University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies. He obtained his Master’s degree in Deaf Studies: Cultural Studies in 2006, also from Gallaudet University. His Master’s thesis focused on developing criteria for a better quality of ABC storytelling. At the moment, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in the division of Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought of the European Graduate School. He teaches at the University of South Florida in the Deaf Studies program. He lives in Lutz, Florida with his wife, Kat, their children, Boone, Cypress, Wilder, and their dog, Rosie, a smelly Boston terrier.


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My name is Joseph Williams (L.J.), I have bachelor’s degree in Sign Language Studies with a focus in Deaf Community Resources. In addition, I began a master’s degree at Gallaudet University. I am Deaf and am active in the Deaf community.  I moved to Florida from Michigan in August of 2015.  I have worked various school settings with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students as a Mentor, Teacher’s Aide, Substitute Teacher, Deaf Interpreter and Advocate. I also volunteer as Deaf Ministry leader at my church. In this role I have been teaching ASL to Deaf Hard of Hearing and Deaf AND students for the last 5 years and throughout Michigan prior to my move to Florida. I have a passion for empowering Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth. 

It is my mission to support students in reaching their highest potential and helping them discover that they can do anything they set their mind to!!!! One of the many ways I can do this is by equipping teachers with the knowledge and tools to work with and provide access for students like myself, Deaf AND students. All people have a voice. As teachers it is our job to discover the voices and hands of our students.


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Dr. Rhonda Jennings-Arey has twenty years of teaching experience at the K-12 level. She worked at the Maryland School for the Deaf before returning home to her alma mater, the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, Virginia. Rhonda has taught in all grades from Pre-Kindergarten to high school, specializing in English and American Sign Language for Deaf students, hearing students as a second language, and hearing faculty and staff. At the post-secondary level, Rhonda is an adjunct at the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Tidewater Community College, and Gallaudet University. She has also taught at several other colleges such as Radford University and University of Louisville. Dr. Jennings-Arey has degrees in Deaf Education, Sign Language Education, Literacy Specialization, and Administration and Supervision. She obtained her doctorate degree in Post-Secondary and Adult Education in May 2016. She was the co-founder of VSDB’s ASL/English Bilingual Education Training program. She has an ASLTA certification at the professional/master level and endorsement in ASL instruction through the state of Virginia. She is currently certified by RID as a Certified Deaf Interpreter where she works as a freelance interpreter. She lives in Staunton, VA and she works full-time as an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia.


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Campbell McDermid, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and holds both a doctorate and master’s degrees in Education from York University and a master’s degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University. His research and publications encompass translation theory, discourse, identity and Groupthink, pragmatics, cohesion, accuracy and assessment. His work has helped him to develop a model of interpretation that conceptualizes “sense” at different levels and led to him writing “Learning to Interpret” a textbook that explores pragmatics and various theories of translation for sign language interpreters. Another recent publication, “The Dialectic of Second-Language Learning: On Becoming an ASL-English Interpreter” was recently published (Sign Language Studies) and charts the path interpreters go through from a blank slate to ally.



Rey Vega was born in Florida and have been a Florida resident, mainly in West Palm Beach, since then with my affectionate 16 years old dog, Tigger. He is profoundly deaf and attended public mainstreamed schools with a Deaf/HH Program. He has a Master’s Degree in Special Education-Deaf Education from UNF along with Florida Educator’s Certificates in Mathematics 6-12 and Hearing Impaired K-12 with a K-12 ASL endorsement. He obtained his RID-CDI February 2006, FLA ASL Endorsement August 2007 and also national American Sign Language Teacher Association (ASLTA) Master-level certification summer 2019.


He has taught the Deaf/Hard of Hearing for over 13 years, the majority of which are in public high schools in Osceola County and Palm Beach County. In addition, Rey has taught ASL adult community Level 1-2 classes part-time over two years; ASL 1-4, both part-time and full-time among three high schools for several years. Currently, he is a day by day substitute teacher for DHH/ASL classes in Palm Beach and Broward counties.  He has been teaching ASL classes at Palm Beach State College for several years as adjunct, ASL and Deaf Studies classes at Miami-Dade College as adjunct for over 9 years and ASL classes at Indian River State College for over 7 years.


Rey is currently a member of Palm Beach County Association of the Deaf (PBCAD), FAD, NAD, FASLTA, ASLTA, FRID and RID for about 20 years in general. He was a former Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD) Member-at-Large for 4 years, Secretary for 2 years and also served a two-year term as 2nd Vice President of Florida Registry Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID). Since 2009, he was Vice President, interim President Past President, and currently South Region Director and was February 2019 Conference Co-Chair of Florida American Sign Language Teachers Association (FASLTA).  



Jonathan was born and raised in New York City and is a third-generation Deaf person in his family. He attended the Lexington School for the Deaf and then was accepted to Gallaudet University to study Political Science (BA). He received his Master of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University, NY and another Master of Arts in Deaf Studies & Deaf Education from Lamar University, TX. He has been teaching ASL courses for over 25 years, loves what he does. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his sons, reading magazines, watching TV/Movies, and hitting the gym.​



June Ann LeFors is a pure-bred Cajun. She was born and raised in Louisiana, the state that caught Bonnie and Clyde. She is a southern belle who is a serial chocolate eater and a foodie. She also likes fermented grapes. She grew up living south of I-10 in Baton Rouge and currently lives 50 minutes south of I-10 in Saint Augustine. She loves the swamps but prefers living by the ocean. 

She married her H.S. sweetheart and instead of having a dozen of kids, because it is cheaper by the dozen, they stopped at kid #6 when they could not have a son. The house they live in is divided. The oldest daughter graduated from F.S.U. (GO SEMINOLES!) and their second daughter is in Gainesville (GO GATORS!) Their youngest daughter attends Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (GO DRAGONS!). As for the three other daughters, they do go to school. Don’t worry, her husband gets his male-fix by coaching football and basketball at FSDB. 

She comes from a crazy, funny, and animated Deaf family with two Deaf sisters and one OHCODA (only hearing child of Deaf Adults). She graduated from Louisiana School for the Deaf (GO WAR EAGLES!) and attended Gallaudet University (GO BISONS!) She has a BA in Elementary Education (GO KIDS!) and a MA in Deaf Education (GO DEAF KIDS!) One of her sisters has MASLED and the other one has a MA in Deaf Studies. Whenever June Ann is in an ASL bind, all she can do is call home. 

On a serious note, June Ann currently works at Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, which is a bilingual school, as an ASL Specialist. Her job requires her to work closely with teachers that teach Deaf students. Her previous jobs include: ASL instructor at UNF (GO OSPREYS!), Early Childhood Teacher, and Domestic Engineer. She is on the EHDI advisory team based in Tallahassee, Florida and is a freelance Deaf Interpreter. June Ann also contributes her time developing videos in ASL for different educational purposes such as FSA (Florida State Standard Exams), Pineapple PD @FSDB, and for the Deaf community. 


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A Gallaudet alumni, Vyron earned a Bachelor's degree in Social work and his Master's degree in Sign Language Education. Having experience as a Deaf interpreter and a Communication Specialist, Vyron has worked to build relationships with community resources and the Deaf community. 


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Maryrose Claussen, Deaf and from a Deaf family, is an American Sign Language Visiting Instructor at University of North Florida. Maryrose holds a BS in Family and Child Studies from Gallaudet University and a M.S. in Deaf Education from McDaniel College. She has been teaching American Sign Language for more than 15 years at various universities and colleges in Alaska, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida. She also gave presentations and trainings at various conferences, workshops and centers on teaching ASL in the past. She strives to make American Sign Language learning relevant, practical and fun.



Jesada Pua, International ASL Expert, ASL Consultant at SignAll Technologies. Jesada is an alum of Gallaudet University.

Jesada is fluent in American, French, British, Australian, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, German, and International Sign. For more than seven years, Jesada has been performing ASL and other sign language consultancies, including 18 months of facilitating the ASL-related decisions and ensuring the ASL proficiency of products at SignAll Technologies.



Tricia has been teaching ASL for over 20 years at Massapequa High School on Long Island, New York. In addition to the high school level, she teaches ASL at the college level.  Tricia has been a presenter at ASLTA as well as FASLTA. She is the membership coordinator of the ASL National Honor Society.  She has a passion for ASL and sharing this wonderful langauge with others.



Debbie Kay Colbert comes from a third-generation ASL-rooted family.  Having taught ASL in private homes and school programs in the US and Nigeria, Colbert has decided to pursue her studies in ASL at Gallaudet University where she received a bachelor's degree in ASL with a minor in Linguistics and an outstanding Linguistic Undergraduate Student Award.  She also received a master’s degree in Sign Language Education at Gallaudet.  She is currently teaching ASL 1 – 5 and Linguistics at Frederick Community College and McDaniel College.


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Rose Adams was born Deaf to hearing parents. She has a Deaf brother who is a year older than her. She was mainstreamed throughout her education without an interpreter. She graduated from Nazareth College of Rochester with a BA in Psychology. She went on to Graduate school at FAU for her Master's in Education. During this time, she was asked to teach at Indian River State College in 1991. A few years later, she was asked to establish an ASL program at a Magnet school in Fort Pierce called "Lincoln Park Academy High School". She began teaching there in 1995. In 2002, she transferred from Indian River Community College to Palm Beach State College. In 2005, a new high school was built in Loxahatchee called "Seminole Ridge Community High School". Rose also has an education degree for DHH K-12 and has been teaching elementary school children during the summer since 2007.  Rose has given numerous workshops to Interpreters in the Palm Beach County area. In February of 2008, Rose was awarded the FASLTA Distinguished Service Award. She has taught at both college and high school levels. In October, 2017, she was awarded the TOY -  “Teacher of the Year” by FFLA (Florida Foreign Language Association) In 2013, she received her endorsement in teaching ASL. Rose was nominated by the FASLTA Board as the Treasurer from 1996 to 2002. She held this position for 12 years when she was forced to resign due to family.  She was then nominated by the FASLTA Board as the Vice President from 2015 – 2018.  In April of 2018, she was asked to join the Board of American Sign Language Honor Society as the Operations Manager/Coordinator.  She is currently serving this position.



Alicia Wooten is a proud San Antonio, TX native who uses both American Sign Language and spoken English as modes of communication. Her love of science and figuring things out led her to study Biomedical Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) received her BS. She completed a post-baccalaureate program at the University of Rochester to gain more experience and studied HIV in the brain. Alicia then went on to complete her Ph.D. in Molecular and Translational Medicine at Boston University. Her interests include lung biology and understanding how the immune system functions against pathogens. Currently, she is a professor at Gallaudet University, where she teaches biology to future generations of scientists. Alicia is passionate about making science communication accessible to all minority groups and advocating for more minority groups, especially those in the deaf community, to pursue a career in science. She is a co-founder of Atomic Hands, a resource that focuses on engaging the community in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through American Sign Language (ASL).

Links to Alecia and Barbara's work:
Atomic Hands Website:

Atomic Hands Facebook Page: 



Barbara is a PhD candidate in Marine Biology and teaches undergraduate Introduction to Biology lab at Oregon State University. She studies how the strength of El Niño, warm climatic patterns, may be modified across space and time to shape kelp communities along the Oregon coast. She is a co-founder of Atomic Hands that focuses on making science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) engaging through American Sign Language (ASL), and fostering collaboration and networking opportunities among current and future Deaf STEMists. She was involved in developing STEM-specific educational resources in ASL, consulting on bilingual K-12 instruction, and performing standardized test translation in ASL with the Center for Research and Training at The Learning Center for the Deaf, Inc. She has an M.S. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University and a B.S. in Biology from Rochester Institute of Technology. Barbara is a Deaf heritage signer of ASL.


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Justin Perez was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He was a student at Texas School for the Deaf. He has always been fascinated by American Sign Language (ASL) performance art and storytelling styles. Throughout his teenage years, he had incredibly deep bonds with several of his close friends who also enjoy sharing a variety of ASL stories, and that was where he defined numerous storytelling techniques along with sign language expressions. The more he shared his stories with the public; the more people have asked him to continue sharing his stories.
That was the fuel to his creativity and innovative persona in pushing new ASL
performance boundaries and art. He quickly realized this type of work is something he is passionate about, particularly the field of ASL. Justin started receiving offers and opportunities all over the world, including being a Visual Vernacular (VV) teacher at Texas School for the Deaf, the narrator for DeafVerse, ASL tutor at National Technical Institute of the Deaf, ASL model and expert with TRUE+WAY ASL curriculum, and many more. Most recently, he won the ASL Elements national ASL competition with his fan-favorite, a Super Mario Kart story. He ultimately aims to bring his new ASL performance art to the ASL World. Overall, Visual Vernacular is his specialty and favorite performance style! Justin is available for presentations, workshops, modeling, performing and potential contractual work.



Rachelle Settambrino is originally from Duluth, Minnesota. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Master of Arts degree in International Development from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.  Currently she teaches courses in American Sign Language and Interpreter Training at The University of South Florida. In addition to her work in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, she serves as a Faculty assistant and collaborates with the Faculty leader to support the various study abroad programs for the students.  She also has been serving as an interpreter/facilitator working with both the Guatemalan and Haitian Deaf Communities.  In this capacity, Ms. Settambrino provides professional development trainings to the teachers of the Deaf children in Guatemala and Haiti.  She also supports a wide range Deaf communities in Central America. She does this by cultivating the young Deaf adults through the teaching of essential skills and extensive leadership development. During her free time, Ms. Settambrino is an avid traveler, she enjoys visiting different countries and continents but, her heart belongs to Guatemala.


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David is a certified ASL/English interpreter based in Jacksonville, FL. He has experience working in a variety of settings, including a particular specialization in music and theatrical interpreting. As well as a degree in interpreting from UNF (BS), he has extensively studied linguistics at the University of Florida (BA) and Gallaudet University (MA). 



Dr. Knight is Assistant Professor of ASL and ASL coordinator at Sam Houston State University. Her research involves the study of social identity in hearing youth who have deaf parents: a qualitative study. She teaches all the levels of American Sign Language courses including the Deaf Culture and Deaf Education.

Tracy is one of the first adopters of SignAll ASL learning technology.



Jessica is a tenured Professor in the Interpreter Education Program at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio where she has been teaching ASL for fifteen years.  She has been honored by Sinclair College with the NISOD award for excellence in teaching.  Degrees include: Bachelor of Science: Special Education from the College of Charleston, Charleston S.C., Master’s degree in Deaf Education: Family Centered Early Education from Gallaudet University, Washington. D.C. and she is currently a doctoral student at the University of Dayton in Educational Leadership. Educator Experience includes: ASL instruction, Interpreter training instruction, and curriculum design. 


Jessica is one of the first pioneers of  the SignAll Learn system.



Lisa Gelineau holds a Master's degree in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education from Lamar University and a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from Texas State University. She has also completed all of her doctoral course work in Deaf Studies at Lamar University in Texas. In her 20+year career, she has taught many ASL classes in various colleges and universities as well as presented workshops and training on various ASL-related topics. She is currently working as a full-time Professor at Austin Community College (ACC) in Austin, TX, teaching ASL in various formats such as traditional, hybrid and online. During her tenure at ACC, she received a Teacher Excellence award. Also, she has worked as an American Sign Language Proficiency Evaluator at ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES) at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.  In addition, Lisa Gelineau has co-authored and published multiple e-workbooks, TRUE+WAY ASL: Level 1-4.


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Tracy Shannon was born Deaf and her family is also deaf except for one of her brothers who is the only hearing person in the family.  Tracy went to a Deaf school while growing up.  Tracy graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education and ASL Specialist. Tracy worked at TSD (Texas School for the Deaf) for about 12 years before coming to work at ACC (Austin Community College) in 2007 working in various positions.  In 2016, Tracy became a full time ASL faculty at Austin Community College.  


FASLTA is providing this workshop/conference as an opportunity for safe, respectful learning and will not permit harassment, discrimination or horizontal violence based on another's comments, questions, schema, race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or any other protected class.

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