Sheryl Ballenger

Captioning and Described Media Services Manager

Sheryl Ballenger, Ph.D. is an education researcher and practitioner fascinated by how adults learn. Sheryl has an earned doctorate from the University of Georgia in adult education. Her research areas are transition to adulthood for Deaf emerging adults and best practices in educational access. She is nationally recognized in the field of access for Deaf individuals, transition, ICT accessibility, and disabilities. Sheryl manages the Captioning and Described Audio Services unit. In this capacity, she is an instructor for an ICT accessibility college course, an instructor for a MOOC module, and a presenter at various conferences and workshops. Sheryl is published in journal articles, conference proceedings, and a chapter contributor in a book of case studies. She serves as a consultant for many college programs and businesses serving Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. 

Sheryl is involved in scholarship and research in the areas of transition for Deaf and hard of hearing emerging adults and best practices in educational access. Sheryl is most proud of her professional beginning in this field by earning a Certificate in American Sign Language and an Associate of Science Degree in Interpreter Training from Chattanooga State Technical Community College. She also earned a bachelor's degree in speech-communication disorders and a master's degree in special education-Deaf education from Georgia State University. She is a certified teacher of the Deaf. 

Throughout her professional career, Sheryl has spearheaded many projects designed to motivate young Deaf and hard of hearing students to continue their education after high school, most notably Deaf Extreme (2002-10), a statewide transition conference in Georgia. She has served on various boards concerned with Deaf education, national transition services for Deaf students, and domestic violence in the Deaf community. 

Among other recognitions, she was awarded the Distinguished Meritorious Service Award for "outstanding service toward the goal of employment of persons with disabilities" from Georgia's Department of Labor. She also was selected for the Outstanding Administrator Award from Georgia Highlands College. Sheryl is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. Additionally, she is a parent advisor for Georgia PINES, a program under the Georgia Department of Education. She advises new parents and families with Deaf children of the many opportunities available for the language, learning, and life.