John Mascia, Au.D.
President, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
On January 1, 2013, Dr. John Mascia became the 17th President of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, the nation’s most comprehensive education and service program for children, adults, and seniors with hearing and vision loss.
Dr. Mascia received his B.A. degree from Hofstra University in Speech Pathology/Audiology in 1983 and also holds a Masters Degree in Audiology. He began his professional career in 1985 as an Audiologist. He received his doctorate in Audiology in 2004 from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.
Dr. Mascia began his tenure with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind as Executive Director, Gentry Facility and Regional Centers in 2005. In 2009, he was named Vice President, Adult Services at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, and served in that position until January 2013 when he was appointed President.
The partnership between Dr. Mascia, AIDB, and Sight Savers America spans many years. It includes referring clients to each other’s programs, co-hosting low vision clinics, and seeking joint funding. It has been, and continues to be, a close working relationship.
Dr. Mascia has received numerous awards for his work with deaf and blind individuals. He is married and the father of two daughters, a son, and a granddaughter.
Artist: John Bramblitt
John Bramblitt is an artist living in Denton Texas. His art has been sold in over 120 countries and he has appeared internationally in print, TV and radio. And John is blind.
Prior to his blindness, John studied at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he graduated with honors. When he lost the last of his vision in 2001 due to complications with epilepsy and Lyme disease, his hopes of becoming a creative writing teacher were shattered and he sunk into a deep depression. He felt disconnected from family and friends, alienated and alone. But then something amazing happened — he discovered painting. He learned to distinguish between different colored paints by feeling their textures with his fingers. He taught himself how to paint using raised lines to help him find his way around the canvas, and through something called haptic visualization, which enables him to “see” his subjects through touch. He now paints amazingly lifelike portraits of people he’s never seen–including his wife and son.
He currently works as a consultant for museums in developing programs that are designed to include everyone – no matter their ability or disability. While art was always a major part of John’s life, it was not until he lost his sight that he began to paint. According to John, “Everyone has an artist somewhere in them; sometimes they just need a little help letting it out.”