The WISE Awards


Mr. Richard Geary Horwitz

Position: Executive Director, Family Educational Services Foundation
Country: Pakistan

Mr. Richard Geary Horwitz has devoted the past 40 years to improving the quality of life of deaf children and youth in Asia. Through the programs, schools, and digital resources developed to educate deaf children and youth and train teachers, thousands of children have had the opportunity to become literate, be educated, learn sign language, and master marketable skills. In Pakistan, a country of 200 million where he has resided for nearly 30 years, he has worked to establish the Deaf Reach School system, pioneering 6 schools in 6 cities. Richard’s son’s loss of hearing due to meningitis in 1974 proved to be a formative influence in his life. He founded the Deaf Reach program in 1984 in Manila, Philippines, then brought it to India in 1987 where it fostered a national tutorial program benefiting thousands of India’s deaf youth. Upon relocating to Pakistan, he witnessed firsthand the hopelessness of deaf children who had no exposure to Pakistan Sign Language, and therefore were incapable of meaningful communication or of becoming self-sufficient and acquiring gainful employment.