Dr. Laurene Simms
Established the Dr. Laurene Simms Award
The Dr. Laurene Simms Award was established in 2004. Dr. Simms is a nationally renowned educator and civil rights advocate. Dr. Simms is the fifth Deaf Black person in the United States to earn a doctorate degree. Dr. Simms is a graduate of the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) and formerly worked as a teacher at ISD. As a former chairperson of the Indiana Coalition for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, she successfully worked on deaf education related legislation to improve the educational quality for deaf and hard of hearing children. Dr. Laurene Simms is currently the Chief Bilingual Officer at Gallaudet University whose primary role is implementing, and supporting several bilingual and multicultural initiatives throughout the university-wide campus.
Each year ICBDA presents the annual Dr. Laurene E. Simms award to young Deaf Black/Brown and other minorities graduating senior at the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD). The Dr. Simms award recognizes seniors who exemplify solid personal characteristics such as trustworthiness, respect, and caring, and leadership qualities around honesty, integrity, accountability and sportsmanship conduct in distinguishing themselves on the field with a dedicated focus and commitment and scholarship exhibiting ideals of knowledge, learning, and culture.