Heidi Reed

Massachusetts Commissioner for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

There are soooo many positives to working with the Deaf and hard of hearing community. There are tremendous opportunities to share knowledge and experiences. Everyone’s stories are just so different and interesting. Now I like to tell people how to live if they become Deaf or hard of hearing. Let them know the technologies and all the things they are able to do. That’s a great part of my job. Now I really like to inform them that they can live a full life as a Deaf or hard of hearing person. There are so many positive things about my job. I work with a great team of individuals that are just so skilled at what they do. People contact us every day with so many different questions and my staff is always able to answer them, quickly and efficiently. It’s such a supportive environment.

Heidi Reed is a native of Massachusetts. She became Deaf at 18 months old due to antibiotics. Heidi was raised orally (using speech and lip-reading for communication) in a family who could all hear. Heidi first became aware of Deaf culture and learned American Sign Language (ASL) at the age of 25 when she attended graduate school at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. There she had a newfound identity and awareness of herself, as a member of the Deaf community. This experience resonated with Heidi so much that she felt drawn to do something about advocacy for the people with whom she identified. Heidi pursued a career in human services and is now the Massachusetts Commissioner for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This amazing woman advocates for the rights of Deaf and hard of hearing people in Massachusetts and is an incredible role model to all women.

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