David J. Thomas

Educational Accessibility Advisor and ADA/504 Coordinator

David J. Thomas, Ph.D., serves as the Educational Accessibility Advisor and ADA/504 Coordinator for the University.  He is the senior campus official responsible for implementation and legal compliance for all persons with disabilities under the ADA and Section 504.

Dr. Thomas joined the University of the Arts in July 2012 after serving in various academic and administrative posts in colleges and universities in Virginia and Washington. He is an active leader in national and internatinal professional organizations and has presented at scholarly conferences in sociolinguistics, cultural studies, comparative international higher education and comparative disability studies. Academically, he is an applied sociolinguist and educational sociologist and regularly conducts field research on the intersection of disability, education and culture across North America, Europe and Asia with an emphasis on construction of identity and barriers in higher education.

He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and a B.A. in Individualized Integrative Studies in Dramaturgy from Old Dominion University. He studied Opera Performance at the North Carolina School of the Arts, American Sign Language at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, and sociocultural linguistics and evolutionary phonology at the Linguistic Society of America Institute at Stanford University. 

He is originally from Norfolk, VA and currently lives in Drexel Hill with a menagerie of cats and a Jack Russell terrier.  His bucket list includes visiting all of the sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. So far, he's about 1/3 of the way there.