Mei Kennedy Advocates for Others, Inspires All

Dr. Mei Kennedy is an inspirational advocate for people who are deaf, parents of children with autism, and education technology. Dr. Kennedy obtained her undergraduate degree in English from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. in 1998. She then received a Master's degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2000. Dr. Kennedy then obtained her Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University in 2004.

While at Gallaudet, she received a grant from the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center to be a student investigator. In this role, Dr. Kennedy studied technology-based learning environments that integrate reading comprehension instruction directly into educational materials with American Sign Language for Deaf and hard of hearing students. From 2004 until 2008, she served on the National Mission Advisory Panel for the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Dr. Kennedy is currently a member of Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT).

In May 2010, Dr. Kennedy gave a speech about education technology at a TEDxIslay conference in Austin, Texas. All of the speakers at the conference were deaf. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. Islay is the name of a novel by Douglas Bullard, who envisioned a place where the deaf community could call their own.

Dr. Kennedy currently works as general manager of CapVidio, LLC, where she oversees core business, marketing and operational functions for providing remote realtime transcription service and manages contracts with clients.

In addition to this, Dr. Kennedy is the author of an informative and personal article titled "Brady, our firstborn son, has autism," which was published in Odyssey magazine in 2008. The article documents Kennedy's frustrations at the lack of resources for parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism. Although borne of her frustrations, Dr. Kennedy's article serves as a helpful resource for other parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism.

"In the last couple of years we have begun to participate in DeafAutism, a web-based community for families with members who are deaf or hard of hearing that have a child with autism," she writes in the article. "We and the other parents involved with

DeafAutism is working together to meet a common challenge: incorporating ASL into all aspects of our children's learning environments to help them become fluent in both ASL and English. These parents are a crucial support group for our family."

Dr. Mei Kennedy, in various ways, is carving out a role as activist for those with disabilities. She is an inspiration not only to people with disabilities, but to all.