As a deaf person who grew up in the deaf community, Dr. Carrie Lou Bloom’s professional expertise is steeped in her lived experience.
A nationally-recognized educational researcher, she is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at UT Austin. She co-directs the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes and is the principal investigator for the federally funded grant. Working in tandem with Co-Director Tia Ivanko, MA, NIC, to manage the organization, Dr. Bloom oversees the center’s research activities, evaluation strategies, federal engagement, gaming development, and outreach initiatives.
Her motivation for her work is deeply personal, and largely driven by the desire to center deaf people in decision-making that makes an impact on everyday lives. Dr. Bloom’s work seeks to counter commonly held narratives about deaf people that are built on a deficit perspective. She advocates for examining the deficits within systems, then changing the systems — not the people.
In her work, Dr. Bloom strives to reach a more nuanced understanding of the development of deaf people throughout the life cycle, particularly in the adolescent and young adult period, and how that development is significantly affected by psychosocial factors and systemic barriers. She seeks to provide the field with current and accurate data about deaf people that places outcome data within appropriate contexts, through secondary analyses of large-scale federal datasets.
Her research into the critical transition period after high school for deaf people is also the topic of Shifting the Dialog, Shifting the Culture: Pathways to Successful Postsecondary Outcomes for Deaf Individuals, the critically acclaimed book Dr. Bloom co-authored in 2017 with Stephanie W. Cawthon, PhD. They also co-authored Research in Deaf Education: Contexts, Challenges and Considerations to strengthen the quality and cultural relevance of research in work that involves deaf people.
As an early-career deaf scholar, she is part of the current movement of deaf academics who are stepping up to take the mic, demanding a seat at the table, and forging new paths through academia.
Dr. Bloom has authored over 25 scholarly publications and numerous technical and evaluation reports, and presents regularly at conferences. She is committed to increasing the accessibility of research for deaf audiences, using American Sign Language (ASL) to translate and disseminate complex academic content. She has also taught research methods and statistics coursework at the University of Northern Colorado.
As a child of deaf parents who were also educators in the deaf education system, Dr. Bloom’s first language was ASL, and dinner conversations revolved around teaching and school systems. She attended one of the largest state schools for the deaf in the nation. She was also mainstreamed for part of the school day from 3rd to 9th grade, where she used ASL interpreters and navigated systems that were not fully accessible in terms of social interactions — an unfortunately common experience for many deaf students in mainstream U.S. schools.
Dr. Bloom earned two master’s degrees, the first in Deaf Education and Deaf Studies from Lamar University, and the second in Program Evaluation from The University of Texas at Austin. She has a PhD in Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.
An avid gardener and home cook, Carrie Lou lives in Austin and enjoys reading, camping, and traveling with her two daughters and partner Lizzie.
Current Affiliations and Appointments
Assistant Professor of Practice | Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin
Evaluator | Deaf STEM Community Alliance
Associate Editor | Journal of American Sign Language and Literature
Review Board Member | Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education