The Deaf Community

Cheryl Prusinski is a Deaf woman and assistant professor of instruction at Ohio University with the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. At OHIO, she teaches advanced American Sign Language and Introduction to Deaf Culture. Prusinski earned a Master of Arts degree in Teaching American Sign Language from University of Northern Colorado in 2016 and a Master of Sciences degree in Educational Leadership from University of Dayton in 2012. She has held various leadership roles in advocating for equal rights of Deaf people and people with disabilities. One of her proudest accomplishments involved working with Deaf women in Columbus, Ohio to implement a non-profit organization, Deaf World Against Violence Everywhere (DWAVE) to address the gap in service for Deaf survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual violence. Currently, she serves as a member of the Athens City Commission on Disabilities.

Cheryl Prusinski headshot photoAs an advocate for social justice for every individual, Cheryl is led by Maya Angelou’s quote, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” Ensuring she can support inclusiveness in her daily life, Cheryl remembers her privilege and performs regular self-checks to evaluate how she can authentically foster that environment. She spends time at Lake Snowden with her husband walking Jack and Blue, her beloved dogs, every day in all weather.

In her session, Cheryl Prusinski will lead attendees in understanding that the dynamics of the Deaf community are key to creating an authentic culture of diversity. Deaf people are around us and part of our communities. As Cheryl notes, often, people become awkward when they approach a Deaf individual, realizing their differences instantly, so she seeks to show participants that learning about the Deaf community may increase their confidence in using alternative methods of communication (which are rarely explored as the world is primarily based on audible modes of communication).

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