When people ask me, ‘how do you communicate with a deafblind person?’ I always answer, ‘with trust and respect.’”Martha Majors
As the leader of the deafblind program at Perkins School for the Blind for 40 years, Martha Majors knows how to manage setbacks and hardship. Her secret? There’s no one solution, there are multitudes. To learn we need to be understood, and that has always been Martha’s priority—to understand each student and meet them where they are.
Her compassion, professionalism, and expertise has helped countless children and their families. However, it is her lasting impact on co-workers that we want to celebrate today. She has mentored educators from around the world, created career paths, and defined education for so many. From The US, to Ghana, Egypt, and Eastern Europe, Martha has found ways to teach the fundamentals of deafblind education, not just by copy and pasting the American model, but by adapting methods and mindsets to the communities she’s worked in. It’s hard to sum up four decades of work, but it can almost be thought of as raindrops into a pond. Small drips coming together to make ripples, then waves.
Martha has the uncanny ability to turn educators and staff into leaders in their own right. She has empowered so many to keep the waves of change moving. Highly trained teachers can impact entire communities. Here are just a few people that Martha has helped guide in their careers and the wonderful things they have to say about her.
“Thank you for your generosity over the years in sharing knowledge and experiences on different topics but in particular on curriculum alignment. This has been, in fact, what has allowed me previously unthinkable opportunities, such as writing a book on the subject, as well as opening new doors so that our children are included and their rights and those of their families are respected.” — Graciela Ferioli
“Martha is simply an amazing person!!! Always open to others, always ready to help, to show you something new, to organize the best experience for you! Thank you for being my teacher! Thanks to you, now I can teach others.” – Jacquline Massawe from Tanzania
“Martha’s matrix helped us to build a new national educational curriculum for students with MDVI and deafblind students in Bulgaria.” – Emanuela Stoilova, ELP 2005, from Sofia, Bulgaria
For every family Martha has supported, she has helped create several highly trained educators to do the same. We thank her for continuing to prove that empowered people empower people.