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ADCET Webinar: Equity, Access, Inclusion and Success - Supporting Deaf and hard of hearing staff and students

In this ADCET webinar, Griffith University shared its best practice for supporting deaf and hard of hearing staff and students. The Deaf Student Support Program at Griffith University has been in existence for over 37 years and has been a leader in Higher Education Supports for Deaf and hard of hearing students within the southern hemisphere. Removing barriers for deaf and/or hard of hearing students is not always straight forward.

Cathy Easte and Dr Riona Tindal highlighted considerations for support and what is considered best practice going beyond the classrooms looking at access and belonging. Cathy and Riona have lived experiences as Deaf persons and they shared from this experience.

This event was held in recognition of National Week of Deaf people which ran from 19-25 September 2022 with the theme: Building Inclusive Communities for All.

Presenters

Photo of Cathy wearing a white shirt and coloured beads around her neck

Cathy Easte, Manager, Student Disability and Accessibility, Student Success, Griffith University

Cathy Easte has worked with Griffith University, since 2010 where she is currently Manager, Student Disability and Accessibility. She has also worked for a number of Queensland TAFE colleges, private training organisations and disability services for well over 20 years prior. Cathy has been on committees for HEDN(Q), TEDCA, the very first ATEND, and is currently President. She is actively involved in the Queensland QDLO network. She has extensive experience in support for students who study online / distance or externally (both at TAFE and University levels).

Cathy has personal interests in assistive technologies, e-learning and how these can enrich the experiences of students with disabilities, and at times thrives on the creative challenges such technology will create. Training is Cathy’s other passion, wanting to increase the knowledge of academic staff, trainers and teachers to be able to meet the needs of their students without interaction from ‘others’. She actively works on ways to embed accessibility and inclusion principles into curriculums whenever she can.

Cathy is deaf and was one of the first deaf persons to graduate as a Teacher of the Deaf in Griffith's Deaf Student Support program over 35 years ago.

Photo of Riona wearing a denim jacket and yellow top standing in front of a tree

Dr Riona Tindal, Senior Disability Advisor and Artist, Griffith University

Riona is a creative artist, thinker, photographer, and problem solver. Her practice involves work in the creative industry, advocating accessibility for artists with disability. Riona has a passion for the environment and advocacy for wildlife and their right to have their habitat undisturbed by human impact.

Riona has a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration (BNHI), a BNHI First Class (Honours), (Faculty Medal) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Natural History Illustration - Arts and Science) from the University of Newcastle. A Bachelor of Arts (BA), Visual and Performing Arts and an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design and Graphic Communications.

Riona started working with Griffith in the Deaf Student Support Program in March 2021. She is passionate about reimagining meaningful access and inclusion in the academic industry that provides an equitable platform for all regardless of their disability or who are deaf.

ADCET is hosted by the University of Tasmania