Kasey Vessel is a proud 2004 graduate of Gallaudet University in Washington DC (BA) and 2013 graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas with a Master of Science in Deaf Education.
She hails from Louisiana where she is a a 1998 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a Deaf African-American woman, she uses American Sign Language.
Kasey has faced many challenges in pursuing her education. She remembers her former third grade teacher thought that she would not be able to get a high school diploma due to slow responsiveness and having mild cerebral palsy. Growing up, she had a few people tell her that she would not be successful as a student-teacher because of the lack of stamina and slow reflexes. She, however, was not discouraged and pursued accommodations she needed to be successful. Through perseverance, and the support of her family, teachers, friends, and mentors; she’s proud to proclaim she has been able to accomplish more than many people ever imagined she could.
Because of her accomplishments, she provides 7 helpful tips for people who want to pursue a major in Special Education or Deaf Education:
1. Surround yourself with people who believe in your abilities.
2. Don't ever give up on your dreams.
3. Confidence is important.
4. When working with students, look past their disability.
5. Set high standards for students.
6. Immerse in multicultural education.
7. Study hard.
In addition, she believes that Special Education or Deaf Education Teacher Preparation Programs at colleges and universities need to recruit Deaf people, people with other disabilities, or minorities to become teachers due to a lack of role models for Deaf students or other students with disabilities. She also believes that it is important for students to see teachers they can personally relate to, allowing them to visualize themselves they can accomplish what their teachers have achieved.