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Tom HolcombThomas K. Holcomb  is Professor of Deaf Studies at Ohlone College in Fremont, California where he teaches courses related to Deaf Culture to both deaf and hearing students.  Previously, he taught at San Jose State University and National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Tom is considered a leading authority on Deaf Culture.  He was named Teacher of the Year Award by American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) in 2002.  He is well known for his dynamic presentation style which he uses to bring together deaf and hearing cultures.  He has presented in 45 states and several countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan and Sweden.

Tom is also an accomplished storyteller and is the featured performer in the Boys Town Press videotape series, Read With Me: Stories for Your Deaf Child.  Tom and Anna have collaborated on two popular DVDs: A Sign of Respect: Strategies for Effective Deaf/Hearing Interactions and See What I Mean: Differences between Deaf and Hearing Cultures. They are also co-authors of Cultural Detective: Deaf Culture in the Cultural Detective training series.  Tom co-authored a book with his brother and father,  Deaf Culture, Our Way, which is considered a classic in Deaf literature.  His latest work is a comprehensive textbook, Introduction to American Deaf Culture, which was just released by Oxford University Press in 2012.

Tom’s academic credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University, Master’s degree in Career and Human Resources Development from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Rochester.


Anna Mindess, MA, CSC, SC:L, has worked as a freelance sign language interpreter in California for over 30 years. Her groundbreaking book, Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters, is used in interpreter training programs worldwide. Anna has been invited to give lectures and workshops across the U.S., in Europe and Japan about differences between Deaf and Hearing cultures and their effect on interpreted situations. She has been a featured speaker at several international conferences, and works as an intercultural trainer for Cultural Awareness International. Anna  and Tom have created two popular DVDs: A Sign of Respect: Strategies for Effective Deaf/Hearing Interactions and See What I Mean: Differences between Deaf and Hearing Cultures. They are also co-authors of Cultural Detective: Deaf Culture in the Cultural Detective training series.

Anna holds a Master’s degree in an interdisciplinary major, Language and Culture, from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from UCLA. She is also a freelance writer and has published widely on the intersection of food and culture.

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