Anita Small, M.Sc., Ed.D. is founder and owner of small LANGUAGE CONNECTIONS, sociolinguist, educator, researcher and cultural mediator. She provides language, culture and communication expertise throughout the lifespan for individuals, schools, universities and organizations.
With a passion in language, culture, education and research, she has her Doctorate of Education in Sociolinguistics from the University of Cincinnati (1986), her Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology from Dahousie University (1981) and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto (1979).
Dr. Small draws on her extensive knowledge of language development, literacy and bilingual pedagogy in tutoring and mentoring. She is a member of the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and has her certification from Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC). She is a Research Allied Professional Associate of SAC. Anita has researched, published and presented on parent-child early communication, language planning and bilingual pedagogy, sign language literacy and the performing arts, cultural identity, cross-cultural interaction and creating empowering educational environments in schools and the workplace.
Dr. Small brings to her writing consultation of professionals, great success as a grant writer and mentor, having raised over 17 million dollars in project grants. She mentors artists in grant writing through the Canada Council of the Arts and Ontario Arts Council as well as mentoring non-profit organization managers in grant writing.
Dr. Small is an innovator of numerous award winning educational institutions, cultural programs and products. She was Co-Founder and Co-Director of the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE in Toronto responsible for programming, research and development and was Bilingual Co-ordinator of the first bilingual Deaf education program in the United States at the Learning Centre for Deaf Children.
Dr. Small is initiator and co-creator of the multiple award-winning educational deafplanet television series (TV Ontario and Alberta Access TV) and website www.deafplanet.com, of the virtual museum website www.deafculturecentre.ca and of the international award winning first animated signing dictionary for kids www.aslphabet.com. Dr. Small’s work has been profiled in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Canada AM and Breakfast TV and was recently acknowledged by a United Nations/ UNESCO award.
She has had Cultural Mediation Training and Staff Dispute Resolution Training through the University Mediation Program of the University of Minnesota. She has subsequently worked with educational institutions and non-profit organizations to create collaborative culturally empowering environments over the last 30 years and provided cultural interaction training, consultation and mediation in Canada, the U.S., Japan, Italy, the Netherlands and France.
Dr. Small taught bilingual bicultural Deaf education at the Faculty of Education at York University (12 years), has served as associate faculty at the University of Toronto (U of T), Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and taught Comparative Linguistics with ASL, Linguistics Department at U of T Scarborough Campus (9 years). She has served as consultant on bilingual bicultural educational pedagogy in Canada, the United States and Japan. She was cross-appointed guest researcher at the Knowledge Centre, Faculty of Education, Hogeschool Utrecht, University of Applied Sciences and the Institute for Sign Language and Deaf Studies, Netherlands using ethnographic research methodology to describe Deaf performing arts in the Netherlands (2014-2019) and to identify features of sign language performance art for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) evaluation tool for sign languages.
Dr. Small was Project Manager and author of the Deaf Artists and Theatres Toolkit (DATT) 2016, using ethnographic methodology to research best practice and developed the online guide to engage Deaf performing artists, Deaf interpreters, Deaf coaches and other sign language specialists and audiences in theatre productions across Canada (cahoots.ca/datt). She collaborated with CCSD to bring the CEFR training approach to Canada. Dr. Small served as Evaluator of the CEFR Training Program when it was first initiated by CCSD (2018-2021) which led to the Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP) application to extend this training to disenfranchised groups (LSQ, Indigenous Black and Racialized Deaf [IBRD] sign language users) to increase the number of qualified Deaf sign language instructors in Canada, to address the inequalities, and to build capacity for employment opportunities across Canada. She is currently evaluator of CCSD’s SIP sign language training program and researching the Canadian sign language industry vis a vis academic training programs, Canadian sign language employment opportunities and gaps, and state of the art in sign language instruction internationally.
Dr. Anita Small is recipient of the Kathy Dolby Award, singular national award given by the Canadian Deaf community to a hearing individual.