In Our Spotlight: Meet Dr. Dana L. Taylor

On Saturday, November 12, 2016, Dr. Dana L. Taylor will served as the Official American Sign Language Interpreter for the 2016 Savannah Children’s Book Festival. This was Dr. Taylor's eleventh year as the festival's American Sign Language Interpreter, having been the principal interpreter and primary consultant since the festival's interest in providing American Sign Language Interpreting Services for Savannah's Deaf individuals and community. The Main Stage Event of featured authors invited to headline the Savannah Children's Books Festival (New York Times Bestselling Author of the Fancy Nancy children’s series, Jane O’Connor and many others) also benefited from having their work extended and promoted to the Deaf community, a community often left out of public events such as these because of varying circumstances.

Dr. Dana Taylor currently serves as the Director of Academic Affairs (Chief Academic Officer) and is responsible for the daily operation and management of several colleges--the College of Criminal Justice and Security; the College of Health Sciences and Nursing; the College of Humanities and Sciences--at the University of Phoenix, Savannah Campus. She is also the campus’ Ethics and Compliance Liaison and Media spokesperson. Dr. Taylor has served as the campus’ Disability Service Advisor.

Because of her breadth of experiences, Dr. Dana Taylor is often sought after for her American Sign Language interpreting services for legal and medical matters; she is also sought after when high visible guests and noted celebrities come to town. Dr. Taylor has interpreted for notable individuals such as President Barack Obama; Vice President Joe Biden; American media mogul, Ted Turner; Ellen DeGeneres; Pastor Cleflo Dollar; Whoopi Goldberg; American Film and Television Producer and Director, Lee Daniels; Governor Rockefeller. Advocating for the Deaf community, Dr. Dana Taylor is the first professional American Sign Language interpreter whom managed to meet with Oprah Winfrey to encourage Oprah to use “closed caption” for her Deaf fans and viewers.

Dr. Dana Taylor was born and reared in Pittsburgh, PA. and is a certified mediator who specializes in gang intervention. She has developed courses in conflict resolution for San Diego Community College and San Diego Restitution and Mediation Center/Legal Aid.  Dr. Taylor’s former experiences in the entertainment arena include being a staff member of WKTQ-AM and WSHH-FM radio in Pittsburgh, PA. She has done road management for notable national and international musical artists (Prince, The Isley Brother and Bob Marley)and has experience writing contractual riders for professional entertainment artists.

Dr. Dana Taylor is the founder and president of The Elijah Agency and provides corporate and educational training on sensitivity issues; diversity and inclusion; conflict resolution and interpreting for the Deaf.  She has worked extensively in higher education and interpreting for the deaf for more than 35 years in Pennsylvania; Mexico City, Mexico; Texas; California and Georgia. She completed her program in linguistics at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and has held positions as a tenured faculty member, Assistant Athletic Director of Academic Affairs and university administrator at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX.  Dr. Taylor's more than 39 years of interpreting for and working with the Deaf have given her a breadth of experiences and knowledge that ultimately led to her being selected by the Georgia Department of Labor to lead the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for Deaf individuals in Savannah (GA) and its surrounding areas; she was the curriculum developer for college level interpreter training programs at Savannah Technical College.  

Dr. Dana Taylor earned a Doctor of Education in Pastoral Community Counseling and has done post graduate courses in Behavior Analysis. She has a Master of Science in Education, specializing in School Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Education in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Development. Focusing on substance abuse, Dr. Taylor completed a Professional-in-Residence program with Betty Ford Center in Palm Desert, California. In March, 2016, she completed one of her post-Doctoral goals and received her Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology degree.

Singing for the unsung and for those who advocate for worthy causes, Books for Growing Minds™ extend our best wishes and congratulations for all your endeavors and achievements, Dr. Dana L. Taylor. Cheers!

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