Dr. Beth Sonnenstrahl Benedict
  • Ph.D., Gallaudet University, Education with emphasis in Communication, 2003
  • M.A., New York University, Counseling, 1981
  • BA., Gallaudet University, Psychology, 1980
Short Biography

Video: Dr. Benedict describes one of the courses she teaches: Nonverbal Communication COM 420.

Beth Sonnenstrahl Benedict is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Her work has focused on family involvement in schools with deaf and hard of hearing children, early childhood education, advocacy, early communication and partnerships between deaf and hearing professionals. Her teaching includes courses on Family Communication, Non Verbal Communication, Public Speaking, Group Discussion, and other relevant topics.

Dr. Benedict is currently a member of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, representing the Council of Education of the Deaf, which just finished writing a 2007 Position Statement. She was also a member of the Health and Human Services Constituent Expert Working Group on Effective Interventions for Infants and Young Children with Hearing Loss, coordinated by the U.S. Office on Disability. She has served on the Maryland Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Council and is currently the president of the American Society for Deaf Children.

Dr. Benedict has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences, schools and for family organizations. Published works include articles and chapters in numerous books related to early communication development.

Dr. Benedict is the mother of two deaf daughters (Rachel and Lauren), and is married to A. Dwight Benedict. Her family often participates in research projects that investigate the development of communication and literacy.


Early Childhood Education; Early Literacy; Family Communication; Family Involvement; Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

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