Onudeah “Oni” Nicolarakis - Deafness/Hard of Hearing - Teachers college, columbia university

Onudeah “Oni” Nicolarakis has been an educator for 10 years, serving  Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing students ranging in ages from 3 to 10 years old, using American Sign Language (ASL) and English bilingual methodologies to provide access to grade level curriculum materials. She received her BA in Early Childhood Education and her MA in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Oni has taught at California School for the Deaf, Fremont, Texas School for the Deaf, Lexington School for the Deaf, LaGuardia Community College and P.S. 347: “47” The American Sign Language and English Lower School. Starting this August, she will be the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Specialist at the New York School for the Deaf (Fanwood).

Outside from the school setting, Oni has been involved in numerous organizations/committees in order to elevate Deaf/Hard of Hearing education:  National Association of the Deaf Education Strategy Team (teacher representative), National American Sign Language and English Bilingual Early Childhood Education (northeast region representative), Empire State Association of the Deaf education committee (chair), and Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf-Kids New York (point of contact).  

Social justice is a passion of Oni’s and she has made it a life long goal of hers to ensure every child is given equity, access, and an even level playing field to thrive in this world.   She believes it all starts with early childhood education.  This encouraged her to pursue her Ph.D, focusing on curriculum design, social justice, and bilingual education at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.