For more information, contact:
Lynne Hanner, Director of Institutional Advancement
(256) 761-3206; Hanner.Lynne@aidb.state.al.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2015
AIDB Names New Executive Director for Gentry’s Adult Programs
An enthusiastic professional with proven leadership experience has been named Executive Director of the Gentry Facility at Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. Patrick Robinson, a graduate of Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD), has served in a number of administrative, education and training roles during the past 23 years, most recently serving as Director of AIDB’s Talladega Regional Center.
As Regional Director since 2011, Robinson coordinated outreach and community services for individuals who are deaf, blind or deaf-blind in 14 counties. He also recently served as Interim Director for the Birmingham Regional Center. Previously, he was the Work Experience Coordinator/Transition Teacher at Alabama School for the Deaf, partnering with other agencies and businesses to develop work training opportunities for students who are deaf. Patrick also spent 10 years as Head Basketball Coach at ASD. Under his leadership, the Silent Warriors Basketball Team won three national championships and he was twice named Coach of the Year by Deaf Digest. He was also Talladega County Volleyball Coach of the Year three times. In 2012, under his leadership the Talladega Regional Center was awarded the Partnership of the Year Award from the Talladega Area Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
A native of Montgomery, Patrick enrolled at the Alabama School for the Deaf at the age of 12, an event that he called a life-changing experience. He became the first in his family to go to college and earn a Master’s degree. After graduating from Gallaudet University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1991, he returned to ASD to work as a houseparent and substitute teacher, then as a job coach, dorm supervisor, coach, assistant coach and adjustment specialist. He earned his Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in 2001. He is affiliated with a number of professional organizations and advisory boards including Alabama Association of the Deaf, Alabama Council of the Blind, National Black Deaf Advocates, Troy University Interpreter Advisory Board, ADRS Deaf and Blind Advisory Councils and the Alabama Deaf-Blind Coalition.
“Mr. Robinson is a shining example that challenges and adversity can be overcome through hard work, a good education, diverse experiences and most importantly, the belief that anything is possible,” said AIDB President Dr. John Mascia. “Mr. Robinson is a dedicated professional with more than twenty three years of professional experience; his unique perspective will serve him well in his new role as Executive Director of Gentry. It is a pleasure to be able to promote a well-qualified graduate of the Alabama School for the Deaf to a senior executive position. He has worked hard and deserves this opportunity. I look forward to seeing our Gentry program grow so that we continue to provide the best possible services to our consumers.”
A component of AIDB, Gentry is a full service education and rehabilitation facility. Established in 1968, its mission is to help adults with hearing and vision loss achieve economic and personal independence through employment training, college preparation classes and independent living skills. Gentry creates customized programs for deaf, blind, deaf-blind and general services students by exploring personal and professional goals and then using the latest technology and training methods available to prepare them for college, the workforce or to live independently.
“I am excited about joining the family at E.H. Gentry,” said Robinson. “I look forward to working with and leading a team who are caring, serving, teaching – committed to giving individuals a better quality of life. I believe in the saying, ‘don’t be afraid to try new things, even if someone says, we’ve never done it that way before.’”
“Dr. John Mascia has a great vision for AIDB and for our children and adult services and the community. I am grateful to be part of this vision and I thank the deaf, blind and deaf-blind community for giving me the opportunity to work with them in the best interest of the community,” said Robinson.