Steve is the Chief Executive Officer of the Programs of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. As the largest pre-school through post-secondary organization for deaf and hard of hearing children in PA, it has 5 sites that encompass the entire state of PA – in Camp Hill, Erie, Hershey, Pittsburgh, and Scranton serving close to 400 children and their families.
Although he was born deaf, he was blessed with a family who could sign. At a very early age, Steve acquired language – learning his first sign and sentence at 18 months old. Throughout his life, he was taught in a variety of settings – a school for the deaf, a Christian school, and public schools. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education and Bible from Tennessee Temple University, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision, and a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Tennessee (GO VOLUNTEERS)!
Prior to working at WPSD, he served in various capacities: a Residential Counselor at the Tennessee School for the Deaf; a teacher in a self-contained classroom in a pubic high school; Director of Student Life at TSD; and Adjunct Professor for Clinical Studies at the University of Tennessee. Ministry-wise, he has gone on 5 mission trips to Jamaica and one trip to Liberia; preached in revivals; taught Sunday School classes to Deaf Adults; and served as a Deacon at his church. Dr. Farmer and his wife, Heather (a certified interpreter), have three biological hearing children, Emily, Caitlyn, and Eli and an adopted daughter, Lily. Steve and Heather were introduced to Signs for Hope through an employee at TSD when she learned they were contemplating adopting a Deaf child. After a brief meeting with Becky, they became involved with SFH through mission trips to Liberia and attending Empowered to Connect (ETC) and Christian Alliances For Orphans (CAFO) conferences. Through these experiences, they are grateful for the training they received through SFH, ETC, and CAFO and are ardent advocates for training for prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents.