Topic at the 2018 DC Summit

This presentation will discuss how Deaf media professionals – including news producers and Deaf federal employees involved in communications and outreach at agencies – can increase “government literacy” in the Deaf community so Deaf people can better understand how government works and participate more effectively in the democratic process, as voters and as advocates for Deaf interests.

Tara Congdon

Communications Analyst, Government Accountability Office

head shot photo of woman with brown shoulder length hair and orange shirt

Biography: Tara Congdon is a Communications Analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In her role, she assists teams of analysts/auditors with writing reports, briefings, and other products for Congress and the public. She also helps GAO with various publicity efforts, such as writing about GAO reports for its Watchblog.

Before joining GAO, Tara worked in journalism and public relations for more than 10 years. Most recently, she worked at Gallaudet University as Manager of Communications and Dissemination for the NSF Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2). She was responsible for all communications and publicity for the center, including developing its public relations strategy, managing its website and social media, liaising with the University’s Public Relations office and external media, writing articles, and producing various print products such as newsletters and brochures. Before VL2, Tara also worked as a writer/editor in the University’s Public Relations office, with responsibility for managing print and Web products, and as Associate Director of Annual Giving, with responsibility for the department’s website, Honor Roll of Donors, and outreach to donors.

Before her switch to public relations, Tara worked as copy editor for various newspapers with small, medium, and large circulations. She worked at the Kansas City Star, Lawrence Journal-World, and the Steamboat Pilot & Today, as well as the trade industry publication The Packer. She has also been active in Deaf Media, including producing newscasts for Sorenson Communications’ SIGNetwork News, an informational video for the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and a commercial for Text-to-911 service that aired on cable channels throughout the Denver metro area. She also operated her own business providing contract writing, editing, and media consultation services to corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, and individuals.

Tara holds a master’s degree in Literature from American University and bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and English from the University of Kansas. In her free time, Tara enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, riding horses, snowboarding, and traveling.