Olivia Ann Ferrante has excelled as a noteworthy teacher for the visually impaired for more than two decades, drawing upon her own experience as an individual with visual impairments. Born three-and-a-half months premature at just two pounds, she developed visual impairments early on in life. As a result of her impairments, Ms. Ferrante always desired to contribute to her community and advocate for the equity and advancement of students who also have visual impairments. During her studies at Regis College, from whom she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1970, Ms. Ferrante served as an aide at the Perkins School for the Blind during the summers of 1968 and 1969. The Perkins School for the Blind notably offered a master’s degree program in teaching blind students, which she completed the following year.
Shortly thereafter, Ms. Ferrante completed a Master of Education at Boston College in 1971 and served for three years as chairperson of the Braille Department of the National Braille Press in Boston until 1974. Desiring to obtain higher education, she also completed postgraduate coursework at Middlebury College, Boston College and Lesley University until 1982. During this time, Ms. Ferrante flourished as a traveling teacher of the visually impaired at more than 50 schools, including Revere High School, until her retirement in 1992. She continues to serve on the Steven J. Rich Scholarship Committee since 1993 and as a consultant for the Revere PTA since 1984.
Although her career has been filled with highlights, Ms. Ferrante is especially proud of her involvement in local government, in which she submitted numerous proposals to include audio pedestrian signs before City Hall, as well as brighter streetlights and a police sub-station in her neighborhood. All of her proposals were accepted and implemented. Demonstrating versatility in her profession, she has contributed several articles to professional journals and was featured in the Revere Journal for her expertise.
To remain abreast of developments in the field, Ms. Ferrante has maintained membership with the National Education Association, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Revere Teachers Association, National Catholic Association for Persons with Visual Impairments and National Writers Union, among other organizations. Civically engaged as well, she is a lecturer for the Revere Commission on Disability, a mentor with the Braille Institute of America and a publicist with the Animal Umbrella Cat Shelter. Likewise, she is affiliated with the Catholic League, the Center for Marine Preservation, and the Boston Public Garden and Common.