Dr. Cara Miller received her Bachelors degree in Psychology at Wesleyan University and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Following externship training at George Mason University, Dr. Miller completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Missouri and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked with youth, college students, and adults across the lifespan in K-12, higher education, counseling center, and inpatient clinical settings.
Along with teaching, research, supervision, and mentorship responsibilities as a core faculty member in the Gallaudet University Clinical Psychology doctoral program, Dr. Miller oversees campus-wide coordination of assistance animal-related accommodations for students and employees with disabilities. In this capacity, she advises on policy development and implementation in accordance with federal and state laws and emerging best practices; develops and presents bilingual trainings in American Sign Language and English on assistance animals and regulatory access issues in higher education and public settings; and facilitates classroom and housing accommodations for University stakeholders with disabilities.
Dr. Miller is a current Faculty Co-Investigator with the grant-funded Bias Reduction Intervention: Deaf Gain in Employment Settings (BRIDGES) research project through the Gallaudet University Department of Psychology. The BRIDGES project identifies and investigates barriers and inequities in training and professional development of clinical psychology doctoral students with disabilities, addressing these through culturally responsive bias-reduction efforts. Dr. Miller is also a co-Investigator with the NIH-funded Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Center (DHCQoL)’s Deaf Sexual and Gender Minority Project, investigating health outcomes, communication, and health literacy among sexual and gender minoritized populations with disabilities.
Since 2017, she has served as the National Mental Health Consultant to Canine Companions for Independence,® a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. In this capacity, Dr. Miller advises on implementation of Canine Companions’ program placing skilled service dogs with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, providing organization-wide mental health training on trauma-informed care and interpersonal neurobiology.
In addition to serving as a reviewer for the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, Dr. Miller chairs the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee for the Board of the APA Human-Animal Interaction section (Section 13 of Division 17, Counseling Psychology). As a 2019 fellow in the summer international Institute in Human-Animal Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Dr. Miller presented research on deaf and hard of hearing individuals’ attitudes on hearing dog partnerships as a function of disability, acculturation, and social identity. Her recent work on service animals and partner bereavement can be found in the newly-published “Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions: Practitioners Navigating the Human-Animal Bond” (Routledge, 2019).
Dr. Miller is a sought-after consultant in mental health and disability advocacy; diversity and inclusion; assistance dog partnerships and awareness initiatives; and trauma and post-traumatic healing. She has presented nationally and internationally to industry professionals, legislators, assistance dog trainers and partners, executives, educators, and the lay public at symposiums and conferences of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA); Assistance Dogs International (ADI); American Psychological Association (APA); Courthouse Dogs Foundation; Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA); International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP); and International Society of Anthrozoology (ISAZ), among others. She has appeared on National Geographic Wild’s “Canine, MD,” and NexGuard’s “Hero Tails” series, and has contributed to publications including Dog News and The Huffington Post. She previously served as a Regional Board Member and Capital Chapter President for Canine Companions for Independence, through which she and her successor Hearing Dog, Turf, were trained and partnered.