Joseph E. Fischgrund has been an educator of deaf students for many years, most notably as the Headmaster of The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) in Philadelphia, PA, a position he held for 21 years. Prior to coming to PSD he was Principal of the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York, Director of Academic Affairs at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Maine, and Staff Linguist and Language Curriculum Coordinator at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf. Under his leadership, PSD diversified and grew, including the re-establishment of its secondary school program, the development of a nationally recognized school-based mental health program and numerous collaborative programs with Gallaudet University. After leaving PSD, Mr. Fischgrund served as Interim Director of the Delaware School for the Deaf and as Interim Superintendent at the New Jersey School for the Deaf. He currently consults with several schools for the deaf throughout the United States in the areas of program assessment and school improvement.
Mr. Fischgrund has also been active in a number of leadership roles at state and national levels, including serving as President of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf, and is widely recognized by his peers as an outstanding educational leader. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED), an organization that sets nationally recognized standards for teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing and accredits teacher preparation programs. In recent years, Mr. Fischgrund has also been an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Fischgrund’s academic background is in theoretical linguistics, with specialties in English grammar and the history of the English language, but he has made the education of deaf children, especially language acquisition and development, his passion for over 30 years. He remains active academically as a manuscript reviewer for several publishers and is currently a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. He has also published numerous articles in professional journals and contributed chapters to textbooks and professional collections. Most recently, he co-authored (with Dr. Oscar P. Cohen and Dr. Harry G. Lang), Moments of Truth: The Story of a Deaf Leader, Robert R. Davila (RIT Press, 2008).