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Image by Daniel Ali

About Katie

As a passionate advocate for equitable access and scholar of disability studies, I am frequently frustrated with academic resources, conferences, and classrooms rendered inaccessible by incompatible formats, impenetrable jargon, prohibitive paywalls, and lack of universal design. Can I both advocate for accessibility and inclusivity in higher education while climbing the stairs (as there is no elevator) of academia? Higher education is, by design, intended to keep people out. Am I complicit in perpetuating institutional injustice by existing within the framework of academia?

Motivated by these questions, I have worked to combat academic ableism in my various roles. As a scholar, my work focuses on the history of deafness and disability. I earned my PhD from Yale in the Program for the History of Science and Medicine in 2019. My dissertation, "Lending Their Ears: Hearing, Deafness, and Aural Citizenship in World War II America," examines concerted noise-abatement campaigns in loud war-production factories, technological developments in hearing aid devices, and military employment of sonic deception to argue that American ears were marshalled for service and sacrifice on behalf of the nation during the Second World War. 

From 2019-2021 I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department of Science, Technology, and Society at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I now teach for RIT and the Disability Studies program at UT Arlington remotely.

I am also Associate Director for Collaborative Initiatives in Faculty Development at UCLA. Although there has long been a need for experts in accessibility to guide institutional change in higher education, the nascent field of best practices in instruction, utilizing assistive
technologies, and promoting equitable access to college/university resources is just beginning to gain wide recognition as a critical challenge each campus must face. It's a challenge I'm excited to work on with instructors! 

My credentials in accessibility are below:

  • Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), 

International Association of Accessibility Professionals (March 2022)


  • Universal Design for Learning Associate Credential -- Level 1,

Learning Designed/CAST (February 2022)


  • Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP),

CA State University, Northridge (awarded December 2021)


  • Audio Description training,

American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (2018)

  • B.A. in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies,

CA State University, Sacramento (2010)

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