Carol Zurek

Statewide Coordinator
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Supports
Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation
2007 Recipient


After graduating from Springfield College, Carol was the first and only deaf person hired to work at the Department of Mental Retardation. She loves her job and enjoys working with her clients.  They have taught her a lot about patience and continue to inspire her.


Carol faced her biggest challenge when she started working at DMR because she was the only deaf person on the staff and had to learn different ways to communicate with hearing people. In the past she had to rely on interpreters only, but now she writes notes, uses email and videophone, and even teaches sign language to her co-workers. It is now easier for her to communicate with hearing people.

Advice to Horace Mann Students

“It’s very important to have an open mind and an open heart.  Listen to what other people are saying.  It’s challenging, but you can’t think that things will always go your way.  It’s very important to work cooperatively as part of a group; if you have a problem, do your best to solve it right away.”

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