Recipient Profile

1984 Mother Xavier Award Recipient

1984 Mother Xavier Award Recipient

Graduated with a degree in Sociology, Mary Margaret is the daughter of an alumna, Sara M. Mahoney, Class of 1922.

One of Mary Margaret's children, a daughter, was born deaf and blind as a result of the nation-wide rubella epidemic in 1964. At that time, no care and education programs existed for children so afflicted. Thanks largely to the efforts of Mary Margaret and other leaders, state and local officials gradually began to address the needs and rights of the deaf-blind multi-handicapped, by providing adequate funding for the services and facilities that they require. As a result, the deaf blind multi-handicapped now have excellent educational and placement programs available to them.

Mary Margaret also was instrumental in getting the State of New Jersey to develop and fund group homes and day activity centers for deaf-blind multi-handicapped adults. She also played an important advocacy role in gaining state and federal funding for special community housing for this population. Mary Margaret was the founder and President of the New Jersey Association for the Deaf-Blind, established in 1976. She was also active in the North American Association for the Deaf-Blind and the international Association of the Deaf-Blind. She also helped form organizations to give help and support to families of deaf-blind multi-handicapped children.

Mary Margaret received the Mother Xavier Award in 1984. She died on July 30, 1996.