May 25, 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lynne Hanner, Director, Institutional Advancement
AIDB’s Teresa Lacy Receives Exemplary Advocate Award from Council for Exceptional Children
TALLADEGA, AL – Teresa Lacy has committed 28 years to literacy and making books and materials accessible for individuals who are blind or vision impaired. In recognition of her service, the Council for Exception Children Division on Visual Impairments and DeafBlindness presented Mrs. Lacy with the Exemplary Advocate Award – a distinguished award, first presented to President Jimmy Carter.
Mrs. Lacy is Director of the Instructional Resource Center for the Blind at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind which serves children and adults with vision loss throughout the state including the Resource Center, the Sub-Regional Library and the Alabama School for the Blind Library. Under her direction, the Resource Center distributes specialized media materials, equipment and Braille and large print textbooks to students with vision impairment in local education agencies and rehabilitation programs in all 67 counties of the state.
During her tenure, the Resource Center has emerged as a full production facility for Braille and large print textbooks and materials and employs two Nemeth–code certified Braillists. She also originated an online ordering system which enables the Center to process more than 6,000 orders for almost 1,900 children and adults each year, including 72 individuals who are DeafBlind.
The Resource Center is also committed to providing the latest technology for its consumers and has purchased numerous portable CCTVs, iPads with educational apps and other devices for loan to students. In addition, the AIRCB supports Braille literacy worldwide by sending Braille textbooks and novels to agencies and schools serving the blind in Tanzania, Ireland, Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa, giving them access to expensive Braille materials they could not otherwise afford.
The Sub-Regional Library issues digital talking book players to adults who are blind in Talladega, St. Clair and Calhoun counties, giving them access to more than 200,000 audio books and magazines, as well as a large collection of descriptive movies on DVD.
“Teresa is a compassionate and self-motivated leader who professionally strives to know more about how visually impaired and blind students’ learning can be assisted through library services,” said Alabama School for the Blind Principal Charlotte Lowry. “She continually challenges the way she serves students and patrons and is most deserving of this honor.”
‘The Instructional Resource Center for the Blind is a vital part of AIDB’s services for children and adults statewide,” said AIDB President Dr. John Mascia. “With Mrs. Lacy’s leadership we are providing state-of-the-art literacy and library services to individuals on campus, in public schools, rehabilitation programs and homes across Alabama. I commend her on this recognition – she truly is an ‘exemplary advocate’ for children and adults with vision loss.”
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is the nation’s most comprehensive organization serving individuals who are deaf, blind, deafblind and other disabilities from birth through aging. Established in 1858, AIDB operates five campuses in Talladega and eight regional centers serving more than 23,500 children annually throughout all 67 counties of the state. Campus programs include Alabama School for the Deaf, Alabama School for the Blind, Helen Keller School (for deafblind and multidisabled children), the Gentry Facility (a postsecondary rehabilitation program for adults) and Alabama Industries for the Blind (a manufacturing facility and the state’s largest employer of blind adults). Regional Centers are located in Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Tuscumbia.