Editor’s Note: SOURCE and the MetroWest Chamber have formed a partnership. The Chamber’s column will run on Tuesdays on the digital news media outlet. This week, the Chamber allowed one of its members The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham to write the column.
FRAMINGHAM – The Learning Center for the Deaf is an internationally-recognized, multi-service agency and is the largest provider of services benefiting deaf and hard of hearing children and adults – and families – in New England. TLC is known nationally for its commitment to access, equity, and inclusion by, for, and with deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
The mission of The Learning Center for the Deaf is to ensure that all deaf and hard of hearing children and adults thrive by having the knowledge, opportunity and power to design the future of their choice.
In concert with our 50th Anniversary Theme, “Celebrating 50 Years – Inspiring Knowledge, Opportunity, and Power,” The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) will host an inspiring 50th anniversary program on April 10, 2021 to celebrate our founder, Warren Schwab, and the additional
individuals, corporations, foundations, and partners that collectively have worked together over these past 50 years to make our mission possible. Event details: tlcdeaf.org/50th
Our virtual event, streamed on TLC’s Facebook and YouTube page, will showcase our work benefiting annually 2,000 deaf and hard of hearing individuals and over 150 organizations in MetroWest, Massachusetts, nationally, and internationally. In 2020, as TLC looks ahead to our next 50 years and beyond, we have announced our Strategic Plan to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, spanning all aspects of our services.
The evening’s program will also present the Warren Schwab Memorial Award, which was inaugurated in 2019 to honor the tireless work of our founder and friend, and his deep commitment to revolutionizing Deaf Education. In 2019, The Learning Center for the Deaf presented the inaugural Memorial Award to Jodi Cort, in loving memory of Warren Schwab. The award is now presented annually at our gala in honor of an individual or organization that has worked tirelessly to revolutionize Deaf Education.
The virtual event will be available at no-charge to participants. To support our mission, TLC will raise funds for the event through sponsorships, donations (individuals donating will be eligible for exciting “door” prizes), and an online fundraiser during the event.
We recently announced Event Emcees Melissa Yingst and TLC Visual Communications Manager Matthew Kohashi. Creative and post production is in collaboration with Bus Door Films. Our event will be in American Sign Language with interpreting services available. To sponsor our event, visit tlcdeaf.org/50th
Our Founder: Warren Schwab
Warren Schwab was both the founder and visionary of The Learning Center for the Deaf, and his indomitable spirit touched the lives of many. It is difficult to put into words the tremendous impact he had on our students, alumni, families, staff, and community members.
Inspired by his son, Warren had a vision for a school that would revolutionize deaf education in Massachusetts. He set out to create an educational environment grounded in respect and enjoyment, where language and communication were paramount, dedicating his own personal resources and countless hours to making this dream a reality.
In the 1990’s, through the leadership of Marie Philip, TLC was the first school in the nation to develop and implement a bilingual (American Sign Language and English) and bicultural (Deaf Culture) model for educating deaf children, now a common and respected approach employed by schools for the deaf across the country.
Today, The Learning Center for the Deaf is a nationally-recognized resource for deaf and hard of hearing children and adults, and operates the largest school for the deaf in New England.
Warren’s first loves were his wife Jodi, his family, his dog Lucky, and the Learning Center for the Deaf. A man of many interests and passions, he was a collector of coins, antiques and Harry Potter memorabilia, and an avid tennis player. He was the recipient of many honors, including Gallaudet University’s LCCF Alice Cogswell Award. He received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University, his masters degree from Boston University and served in the US Air Force. Warren’s legacy — his values and what he stood for, his hard work in making his vision a reality — carry on through the students, staff, and famlies who were fortunate to know him and work with him on this
MetroWest Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Partner of the Year
The Learning Center for the Deaf was also recently awarded MetroWest Chamber of Commerce 2020 Non-Profit Partner of the Year.
While this year has presented exceptional circumstances with COVID-19, TLC has remained a vibrant resource for its community, offering audiology services, residential therapeutic education; remote and hybrid education, early intervention through our Badavas Parent Infant Program and interpreting services to local medical centers, businesses, and organizations.
TLC’s two schools — Marie Philip School and Walden School – offer a robust athletics program, providing opportunities for competition, skill development, and teamwork for students from elementary to high school. TLC partners with the Special Olympics Unified Sports Program to offer inclusive opportunities.
TLC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), and the Council on Accreditation (COA), and is the only organization in the country to be accredited by all three agencies.
The Learning Center for the Deaf leaders and staff are actively engaged in leadership roles in our community, including MWCOC, Metrowest Leadership Academy, The Framingham Centre Cultural District, and Rotary.
TLC’s Interpreting Services Department supports more than 100 business clients in the MetroWest area and is a nationally-sought internship site for interpreters-in-training because of its depth of staff who are nationally certified and/or Massachusetts state screened interpreters who are able to provide a multitude of experiences and support.
Nearly half of our 400+ employees self-identify as deaf or hard of hearing. We won 2019 Outstanding Organization of the Year by Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and in 2018 RIT/NTID recognized TLC as an employer/partner of the year.
● 2020, Best of MetroWest – Audiology Clinic and Hearing Aid Center
● 2020, MetroWest Chamber of Commerce Non Profit Partner of the Year
● 2019, Best of MetroWest – Audiologist of the Year
● 2019, Outstanding Organization of the Year, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
● 2018 Outstanding Employer/Partner – RIT/NTID
● 2014 MetroWest Health Foundation’s Deborah Blumer Community Health Leadership Award (Walden Community Services)
To learn more about The Learning Center for the Deaf, visit tlcdeaf.org.