Thomas K. Holcomb comes from a multigenerational Deaf family. His parents, grandparents, children and grandchild are all Deaf. Currently, Tom is Professor of Deaf Studies at Ohlone College in Fremont, California where he teaches courses related to Deaf Culture, Deaf Education and Interpreting 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 awarded with the Teacher of the Year Award by American Sign Language Teacher Association (ASLTA) in 2002. He is well known for his dynamic presentation style which he uses to bring together deaf and hearing people and has presented in 45 states and several international countries including Japan, Sweden, Chile and Canada. He 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. His two DVD productions entitled See What I Mean: Differences Between Deaf and Hearing Cultures and A Sign of Respect: Strategies for Effective Deaf/Hearing Interactions, have received widespread acclaim for their humorous yet effective portrayal of the deaf experience. In addition, a book he co-authored with his brother and father, Deaf Culture, Our Way illustrates the unique experiences of deaf people living in the mainstream. It is now considered a classic in Deaf literature.
Tom’s theatrical experiences began when Eric Malzkuhn took him under his wings when he was a student at Model Secondary School for the Deaf. There, he performed as Artful Dodger in the Oliver Twist production and received the Joe Veditz award. While at Gallaudet, he was on the cast for two different productions, Ah Wilderness and Sherlock Holmes. Upon graduation from Gallaudet, he coordinated the development of four different plays with the involvement of the deaf community. They include: Deafnasty, The Week The World Heard Gallaudet, Hear No Scream: AIDS in the Deaf Community, and Side by Side.
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.