Troy University’s annual Helen Keller Lecture to shine spotlight on AIDB

Posted: Monday, 15 April 2013

TROY - Dr. John Mascia, president of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, will deliver the 18th annual Helen Keller Lecture at Troy University on April 23.

The lecture, which will begin at 10 a.m. in the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus, is designed to promote awareness of people who excel in their chosen fields despite physical and/or mental limitations. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Dr. Mascia will be joined by TROY alumnus Donovan J. Beitel, an instructor in AIDB’s Business Enterprise Program since 2010, and Patrick Robinson, director of AIDB’s Talladega Regional Center. Malia Thibado, a second grader at AIDB and the daughter of Paul and Karen Thibado of Pell City, will present the musical piece, “Who I Was Born to Be,” for the entertainment portion of the lecture.

Dr. Mascia was named AIDB’s 17th president, succeeding Dr. Terry Graham who retired on Feb. 1. Dr. Mascia previously served as vice president of adult programs, a position he held since 2009. He joined the senior management team at AIDB in 2005 as executive director of the Gentry Facility and Regional Centers and was later promoted to the role of vice president of adult programs to include oversight of the Alabama Industries for the Blind. One of his first tasks after arriving at AIDB was the successful retooling of the Gentry Facility that provides rehabilitation and training for deaf, blind and deaf-blind adults.

Before joining AIDB, Dr. Mascia worked as a supervising and chief audiologist and as an assistant professor in New York. In 1989, he joined the Helen Keller National Center where he served as coordinator of audiological services, supervisor of the Speech and Hearing Department, coordinator of professional services and then finally as national director of field services. As a senior administrator he was responsible for the supervision of regional representatives, national training programs, community placement services and 45 affiliate programs.

Dr. Mascia holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in audiology and speech pathology from Hofstra University in New York and a doctorate in audiology from Pennsylvania College of Optometry, School of Audiology. He received his certificate of clinical competence in audiology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a licensed audiologist. He has made numerous presentations and served in leadership roles with professional organizations and is widely published.

Dr. Mascia has received leadership and service awards from consumer organizations and is involved in numerous professional and community activities including the board of directors for Talladega’s Red Door Kitchen, advisory committees for the Troy University Interpreter Training Program, State Mental Health Deaf Services Group and the Department of Rehabilitation Services Older Blind Services. He has served as president of the Talladega Lions Club, the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visual Impaired, Easter Seals Talladega County chapter and is a member of the American Council of the Blind, National Rehabilitation Coalition and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

He and his wife, Nancy, have three children – Katie, Christopher and Annie.

The Helen Keller Lecture is sponsored by Troy University, The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama State Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.