College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Licensure Preparation Recruitment and Community Building Event

Dr. Brynn Kraning (left) and Dr. Debbie Golos (right) describe the WE-IMAGINE grant, the vision for the next five years, and the DHH program.  Drs. Kraning and Golos are faculty in the DHH MEd program at the U of M.

In late March, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) teaching licensure and MEd program in the Department of Educational Psychology's special education program held the UMN Deaf and Hard of Hearing Licensure Preparation Recruitment and Community Building Event. This event was sponsored by the DHH program's new grant funding WE-IMAGINE – Wellbeing in Education: Integrating Multilingual & Mindfulness Approaches to Guide & Inspire New Educators–Preparing Teachers to Serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (funded project by the Federal Office of Special Education Programs, or OSEP).

The purpose of the grant is to address the gap in DHH teachers by training diverse teachers to meet the culturally and linguistically diverse needs of students through multilingual, multimodal, and multicultural approaches to education while addressing the wellbeing of teachers and students. WE-IMAGINE grant scholars will be eligible to receive a range of financial support towards tuition, possible stipends for expenses and travel, and professional development.

Event planning was done by a committee that included collaborators from the DHH faculty and DHH Minnesota community representatives. During this event, we were honored to have representatives from local Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled communities, and organizations. These included representatives from the Asian/Hmong Deaf Community (Including United Hmongs with Disabilities or UHD), Deaf Equity; Deaf North Yoga; Indigenous Deaf Community; Metro Deaf School; Minnesota Black Deaf Advocates; Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing; Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community; Minnesota Deaf Queers; and Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. Each of the community representatives shared their lived experiences of their educational journey; the need for teachers who have shared histories, cultures, and languages of the students they are representing; the opportunities for community building; and the critical need for volunteering.

This was followed by an eye-opening and inspiring presentation by Dr. Gloshanda Lawyer, a UMN graduate from COCOA Language, Advocacy and Consulting. Dr. Lawyer talked about the importance of the many roles we may play, including co-conspirators, role models, and liaisons for the community within the system. Through this work together, we are striving toward building long-lasting relationships between the UMN DHH teacher preparation program and the DHHDBDD communities.

There is still time to apply for Ed Psych's DHH teacher licensure preparation program for Fall 2024 – applications are open until May 15. If you are interested in being considered for WE-IMAGINE funding, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as funding is limited. If you have any questions feel free to contact Debbie Golos at