Meet the Language Analysis Team

The Language Analysis Team Meeting Report is now available! Click here to view.

Below is a brief video by Dennis Cokely explaining the Team’s Atypical Language Model.

The language analysis team analyzed video samples of atypical ASL and created a matrix of indicants and descriptors to help identify strategies for determining needed levels of support to facilitate communication.

Headshot of Dennis facing the camera. He is wearing a red collared shirt and red plaid tie. He is in front of a brick wall.

Dennis Cokely, Ph.D., CSC, served 11 years as Associate Director of the National Interpreter Education Center (NIEC), 2005-2010, and Principal Investigator, 2010-2016. He was co-author of RSA-funded needs assessments from multiple perspectives and the 2015 Trends Report. Dr. Cokely was a full Professor of ASL and Director of the ASL Program at Northeastern University from 1996-2018 and Principal Investigator of CALI from January 2017 until his unexpected passing in August 2018.

Headshot of MJ looking over her left shoulder. She is wearing glasses and blue collared shirt. She is outdoors in front of a small bridge and wetlands.

MJ Bienvenu, Ph.D., serves on the language analysis team. A Deaf native ASL signer, she is a Professor of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University and serves as co-chair of the Sorenson Language and Communication Center building project.

Headshot of Chris facing the camera. He is wearing a blue collard shirt and blue striped tie. He is outdoors in front of a garden and stone wall.

Chris Kaftan, MA, Deaf Education; Graduate Certificate, Special Education Administration and Supervision, brings to the language analysis team the perspective of a Deaf Educator working with transition-aged youth, many of whom exhibit atypical language. Mr. Kaftan has been Secondary Principal at The Learning Center for the Deaf, Framingham, MA, since 2012.

Headshot of Dan facing the camera. He is wearing glasses and a blue collared shirt. He is in front of a white wall.

Daniel Langholtz, MA, LCSW, CDI, CLIP-R, brings to the language analysis team over 30 years’ experience as a mental health professional, a Certified Deaf Interpreter working in legal, medical, and social work settings, and a trainer in mental health interpreting and HIV/AIDS, among other topics.

Headshot of Anna facing the camera. She is wearing a purple sweater and purple blouse. She is outdoors in front of a brick building and behind some green shrubbery.

Anna Witter-Merithew, M.Ed., CSC, SC:L, OIC:C, SC:PA, CI and CT, is a heritage signer and legal interpreting specialist. Ms. Witter-Merithew led the development of the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC) curriculum on interpreting in vocational rehabilitation settings and has authored or co-authored two texts and over 35 articles. She is the current Interim Director of RID. She served as Assistant Director of the UNC DO IT Center and Director of the MARIE Center, where she worked for 16 years.