Joan Phillip

Director, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services, Center for Living and Working

"Looking back, that desire to support and motivate deaf parents relates to my dad and how he loved to support deaf people and encourage deaf people, and I really love my job.  Every year I see the program grow.  And deaf people succeed and become more independent."

Center for Living and Working

Joan Phillip was born in 1959 in Worcester, MA.  She, her parents, her two sisters, her ex-husband, and her two children are deaf.  She talks about her childhood and the difficulties she faced trying to communicate with other children and her cousins who were not deaf and did not know sign language.  She enjoyed attending the American School for the Deaf in Connecticut, a residential school, because she felt comfortable and safe in an environment with other deaf children. She discusses the differences in educating deaf children today.  Her father was a big influence on her.  He was very active with the Worcester Deaf Club and she is continuing that tradition.  The College of the Holy Cross set up an award in her father’s name for his work with deaf people.  Joan is the Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independence Program at the Center for Living and Working in Worcester.  She talks about her role educating deaf people on their rights and how to be more independent. She also shares her opinion on the difficulties non-deaf parents of deaf children face when dealing with decisions on the options for their children.

Interview Date: 
March 27, 2007
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