Margaret Ferris was a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing children in the special education program at Oshkosh Public Schools.
She retired in the early 1980's after a long career that touched the lives of many deaf and hard of hearing children from the Fox Valley region. She often stated she taught 27 years without ever being heard. During the years Margaret taught, Oshkosh was the hub of education for children from the region who were deaf or hard of hearing. The program she developed was focused on aural/oral training, rather than on American Sign Language.
Margaret's father was severely hard of hearing, and Margaret became hard of hearing herself when she was in her 50's. She became involved in the Hearing Loss Association of America in mid-1980 when Wisconsin's first chapter was formed in Appleton, and remained involved until she was physically unable to attend meetings when she was in her late 80's. Margaret served as chapter president and mentor to people of all ages who became involved in the regional chapter of the organization.
She worked tirelessly to get banks, churches, and public buildings to acquire hearing loops to aide the deaf and hard of hearing. In 1994 Margaret wrote a book for parents of hearing impaired children called "Bright Silence". This scholarship was established by Margaret Ferris as a tribute to her years of involvement in the Fox Valley Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America. Margaret wanted to be sure this scholarship would carry
forth into perpetuity.
Graduating high school seniors from a public or parochial high school in Calumet, Outagamie or Winnebago counties who are planning to pursue post - secondary education at an accredited college, university or technical college. Eligible applicants are hard of hearing students who have a significant hearing loss and use technology to participate in the hearing world.