After 18 years as NVRC’s Loudoun County Outreach Contractor, Joan Cassidy has retired. Most everyone in our community knows Joan and has had the chance to chat with her at our Annual Meetings and other community events, especially Celebrate Communication where she is famous for her beautiful display of Joan’s Knitted Dolls.
Joan was born in Yorkshire, England and her family moved to Port Elizabeth, South Africa when she was 10. It was in Port Elizabeth where Joan met a dashing young American, Neil Cassidy. While Neil served in the US Army, they lived in Stuttgart, Germany, then came to the States in the 1960s, spending time in Ohio and Michigan. Joan and Neil moved to their current home in Sterling, Virginia in 1976, where they raised their two children. She and Neil are avid lovers of cruising – having cruised all over the world! – and Joan loves to watch her British TV shows while she knits her amazing creations.
Joan learned that she had a hearing loss when she was 18 years old but it was a few years before she started wearing hearing aids. Joan eventually got a Cochlear Implant in 1998, the same year she began contracting with NVRC, and she used her personal experiences with hearing loss to help thousands of Loudoun County residents by giving them information and encouragement, mentoring, introducing them to hearing assistive technologies, bringing them to NVRC to visit our demo room and learn about all the help available. Joan represented NVRC at many meetings of the County’s Board of Supervisors during the annual budget hearings, advocating for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and securing additional funding for NVRC. She was the go-to expert at senior centers, retirement communities, libraries, and health fairs, sharing NVRC’s mission with everyone she served.
We will miss Joan more than we can say, but she promises to visit NVRC often and visit old friends at our upcoming Annual Meeting, and – we hope! – bring her knitted dolls to Celebrate Communication next year. So many of us have one of her treasures! We thank Joan for her years of dedicated service, and we wish her many happy and healthy years in her well-earned retirement.