Brenda Seal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ASHA-F

Hearing, Speech & Language Science

Brenda Seal

Phone Numbers

202-651-5320 (V)



Sorenson Language and Communication Center 3201

Dr. Seal began her professional career at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton, Virginia in 1973, where she was the first nationally-certified speech-language pathologist (SLP).  She began teaching as an adjunct in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at James Madison University in 1975; Dr. Seal also earned her interpreter's certification (CSC) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., in 1975. In 1981, she joined the faculty at JMU as an instructor, working with colleagues to open a preschool for hearing-impaired children that promoted the total communication philosophy for hearing families and their young deaf children. In her 28 years at JMU, she served as Director of the Speech and Hearing Center (for 7 years), and received promotions from Assistant to Associate and then to full Professor. She retired in 2009 as Faculty Emerita.

Dr. Seal joined the faculty at Gallaudet University as a Professor in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) in 2009. She also serves as the Program Director of the nationally-certified (by Council of Academic Programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) SLP Program. This graduate program is ranked 15th of 240 graduate programs in the United States with its high graduation rates, Praxis passing rates, and employment rates. 

Dr. Seal's teaching history includes undergraduate clinical procedures, introduction to sign language, anatomy of speech-language-hearing, neuroanatomy and neurogenic communication disorders, cochlear implant (re)habilitation; speechreading and speech pronunciation, pediatric auditory (re)habilitation, adult auditory rehabilitation, university teaching and supervision for undergraduates at JMU and Gallaudet, for graduate students in SLP and AUD and in the Ph.D. program at JMU and at Gallaudet. 

Dr. Seal's grant history includes U.S. Department of Education and Virginia Department of Education training grants for educational interpreters, National Science Foundation research education for undergraduate grants in chemistry for students who are deaf/Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Dr. Seal and Dr. Karen Garrido-Nag are new recipients of a U.S. Office of Special Education training grant (2017-2022): Bilingual Assessment and Supervised Intervention of Collaborative Services  (BASICS) for speech-language pathologists and interpreters serving d/D/HH students from homes where neither English nor ASL is used. 

Dr. Seal's research interests include Baby Signing, infant sign perception, language acquisition of infants born in poverty, childhood speechreading and fingerspelling, adult speechreading and fingerspelling. She is author of several peer-reviewed publications, including Best Practices in Educational Interpreting (2nd Ed.) and she is a frequent presenter at both national and international conferences where her research is promoted. Dr. Seal's current professional development interests lie in interprofessional communication (IPC), interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional practice (IPP), and in Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CLD) competence. 

University and Department: Brenda is well-known on campus for her participation in shared governance, with 4- and 3-year service terms on the Council of Graduate Education and Faculty Welfare Committee; she also serves on the search committee for SLP and Ph.D. faculty openings in the department.

State: Brenda is in her second year as President of the Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia, an organization that supports student scholarship and identifies excellence in those who work in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

National: Brenda is currently serving on an Interprofessional Collaboration Review Team for the 2018 ASHA national conference in Boston.  


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002