Professor Leigh has built an impressive career specialising in education for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Professor Leigh joined the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (now NextSense) as a Senior Lecturer in 1993 and was appointed to his current role in 2006, where he is responsible for expanding and developing NextSense Institute's world-class research and education programs and facilities. He holds a degree in Special Education from Griffith University, a Master of Science (Speech and Hearing) from Washington University and a PhD in Special Education from Monash. In 2014, he was invested as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished services to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
He began his career in education of the deaf at the Queensland School for the Deaf in Brisbane in 1979. He holds degrees in Special Education from Griffith University; a Master of Science (Speech and Hearing) degree from Washington University (Central Institute for the Deaf) in the USA; and a PhD in Special Education from Monash University.
In 2001, he was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and in 2014 he was invested as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) 'for distinguished service to the deaf and hard of hearing community, particularly children, through education, research, public policy development and specialist services'.
Professor Leigh held a variety of positions in the education of deaf children in Queensland before entering academia. He was coordinator of the program in education of the deaf at Deakin University from 1987 until taking up the position of Senior Lecturer and foundation Head of RIDBC Renwick Centre (now NextSense Institute) in 1993. In 2003 he was International Visiting Scholar at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (Rochester Institute of Technology), New York.
He is the Director of NextSense Institute.
Professor Leigh is a member of the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education and Phonetics and Speech Sciences and is a member of the Key Scientists Committee of the Hearing Cooperative Research Centre. He has served on several Australian Government consultative committees, including the New South Wales Ministerial Standing Committee on Hearing and the National Neonatal Hearing Screening Working Party.
He is currently Chairman of the Australasian Newborn Hearing Screening Committee. He is a former National President of the Education Commission for the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf and is Chair or Co-Chair of the International Steering Committees of both the Asia-Pacific Congress on Deafness (APCD) and the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED).
- Newborn Hearing Screening - implementation and standards for delivery.
- The impact of earlier identification of hearing loss on infant development.
- Early psychosocial development of deaf and hard of hearing children.
- Communications access by children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing (captions and related media accessibility).
- Teachers' use of simultaneous communication.
- Literacy development in children and adults who are deaf.