Jul 31, 2019
Jean Irwin
Teaching the Deaf to Read
Jean Irwin is a teacher of the deaf.
Jean was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in 1989.
The Ambassadorial Scholarship Jean received allowed her to do research into reading and deafness 22 years ago which earned her a Master’s Degree from Nottingham University in England.
After what she learned on the Scholarship she was chosen "Reading Teacher of the Year" in 1992 by the International Reading Association.
After this education, her students broke what is considered a glass ceiling for the deaf and achieved high levels of reading.
 
In 2004, she received the “Best of Education” award by the Reno Gazette.
In 2009 she received the "Service Above Self" award from Rotary International.
 
One of the most important roles Jean has had was as a grassroots coordinator for the passage of a legislative bill to make the testing of hearing mandatory before a baby leaves the hospital in Nevada.Nevada moved from 36th to 8th in the nation for children tested at birth for hearing loss in just two years after this bill passed ,resulting in the early intervention that is so critical to language development.