Leala Holcomb, Deafness/Hard of Hearing - University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Leala comes from a multigenerational Deaf family with her parents and grandparents passionately involved in improving the quality of education for Deaf children. After graduating from the California School for the Deaf, Fremont in 2005, she continued her education at Gallaudet University and earned a B.A. in International Education and Development. She also obtained a M.A. in Deaf Education from National University.

She returned to CSDF to teach in the Early Childhood Education department where she was instrumental in developing American Sign Language (ASL) standards, bilingual resources, and visual nursery rhymes. She is also committed to the anti-oppression work and aims to eradicate systemic inequalities within the education system. Since then, she has taught college level courses at Kapiolani Community College and Chinese University of Hong Kong on topics pertaining to Deaf education. She also has been giving presentations at national and international conferences in addition to providing consultations to schools.

Currently, she is a second year Ph.D. student and devoting her energy on a new enterprise called Hands Land: ASL Rhymes and Rhythms for Young Children. She is also the international consultant for the Vietnam Intergenerational Deaf Education Outreach Project.