Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood

Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood

Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood has been selected as NTID's 2016 Distinguished Alumna.

Wood is best known for her work at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons. Her charismatic leadership style, strategic planning skills, and advocacy for accessible programs mark her legacy of success across the country. With more than 30 years of public service, Wood is a renowned trainer and public speaker. She also is a champion of independent living services focusing on benefits for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals within the larger disability rights movement. She passionately encourages organizations and individuals to plan for future growth and recognition of their human rights.

“We’re pleased to recognize BJ as NTID’s 2016 Distinguished Alumna,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “She is most deserving of this honor, not only because of her many impressive achievements, but also because of the spirit of advocacy and collaboration that she embodies."

“No amount of assistance has been too small or too large,” said Wood of her career in service. “I’ve helped people find a job, learn English as a second language, welcomed young people into my home, taught people how to own and buy a home, changed organizational and state policies to remove communication barriers… and created partnerships to better serve my community. The highlight of my career has been seeing the huge smile on people’s faces when they accomplish their goals!”

Wood believes in volunteerism and serves on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Disability Rights Committee and the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf. She has served on numerous boards and committees including the NTID’s National Advisory Group and the Board of the National Association of the Deaf. Wood and her wife, LeWana Clark, live near Boston, Massachusetts. They enjoy traveling in their RV, visiting friends, and playing Rummikub.

NTID will honor Wood at a community reception on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 4 p.m. on the first floor lobby of the Student Development Center (SDC). The event is open to all faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Wood also will visit some classes during her time on campus.