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Samuel J. Supalla

Presentation Topic: 
Alignment of the Curriculum: Reading and ASL & Curriculum-based Assessment in ASL.


Samuel J. Supalla is an Associate Professor in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at the University of Arizona. Dr. Supalla leads a strong and productive agenda in signed language proficiency assessment and literacy with young deaf children. The formation of a charter school, working with schools for the deaf, and formulation of a reading instruction approach for use with deaf students are among the accomplishments that Dr. Supalla has made to date.

Missy Keast

Presentation Topic:
ASL Storytelling for Children


Missy Keast is a multi-tasker. She is the founder and administrator of two businesses: ASL Inside LLC and Signs For Intelligence - both of which promotes ASL Literacy as well as organizing and hosting ASL events for K-12 deaf children, and making appearances at mainstreamed programs to raise ASL awareness for the deaf students in these educational settings.

Since 1995, Missy has been very involved with ASL curriculum. She has always loved storytelling, starting in her childhood.  Anyone who knew her as a child can attest to that.  She capitalized on that when she started videomaking in her business at Signs for Intelligence, which focuses on ASL Storytelling for children.

When she worked at California School for the Deaf - Fremont where she worked with a group that worked with students who needed to acquire or improve on L1 skills, she discovered the crucial role of ASL in language acquisition among deaf children from where she begun her path towards ASL Literacy.

On the academic level, she worked at San Francisco State University as an ASL researcher concurrently with her employment at CSD-Fremont. She acquired a raised awareness of the value of ASL in language development and curriculum as well as gained a deeper knowledge of ASL as a language.

Her main focus is on ASL Literacy. She has been promoting her cause through her videos, visits to schools, with the parents, and any way she can find to convey her messages.

Raychelle Harris

Presentation Topic: Academic Language Development:  The Crucial Foundation for Academic Success


Raychelle received her BA in American Sign Language Studies from Gallaudet University and MS in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in 1995 and 2000, respectively. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as an ASL specialist at New Mexico School for the Deaf, and as a part of a team, implemented new school-wide ASL assessment tools and 7th/8th grade ASL curriculua.  Raychelle's dissertation study analyzed academic discourse in an ASL/English bilingual preschool setting with Deaf teachers and students.  She currently coordinates the new 15-month, Summer/Online MA program in Sign Language Teaching at Gallaudet University.