Since 1980, the AIDB Foundation has raised private funds to supplement an appropriation
from the Alabama Legislature for educational services. AIDB cannot charge tuition or room
and board, nor do we benefit from local tax support. State funding covers the basics — but
our programs and services far exceed the basics. Only through Foundation funds are we
able to build new facilities, provide our students with the most innovative technology and
deliver on our promise of limitless opportunities. More importantly, AIDB is able to make
the seemingly impossible possible by delivering hope, building self-esteem and fostering
confidence and independence within every individual — regardless of their challenges.
Across AIDB’s campuses in Talladega, our eight Regional Centers throughout the state and
our Outreach Program, AIDB Foundation-funded projects have changed the lives of
countless students and adults. Following are just a few examples of the lasting legacies
established by the AIDB Foundation.
The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. Everyone should have the opportunity to
experience the emotions of sport. Thanks to a gift from 40 Alabama Kiwanis Clubs, our
students can now participate in track and field activities on the first track in the state
designed for individuals with vision and hearing loss.
At AIDB’s eight Regional Centers throughout the state, the deaf, blind and DeafBlind can
learn sign language and Braille, access transportation and acquire the life skills necessary
to live independently. None of this would have been possible without an initial grant from
the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and subsequent funding through the AIDB Foundation. A true
source of pride is our Dothan, Shoals and Talladega Centers, which were funded entirely by
the AIDB Foundation.
Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrians Program
When one of our students won an equestrian gold medal at the Special Olympics, we knew
our program played a pivotal role in this achievement. While all of our students won’t win
medals, they will realize success on an individual level through the therapeutic riding and
training available at our Special Equestrian Program.
Most people take for granted the opportunity to see and hear a worship service. For our
students, this can be a communication challenge. Hawkins Chapel, our first building
financed without state funds, was designed specifically for our students. Today, we can
gather together in prayer and attend special events in this one-of-a-kind facility.
Hackney Play Therapy Center
It may look like a typical indoor playground, but there’s much more to the Hackney Play
Therapy Center. In this safe, sensory-stimulating environment, students receive life-
changing physical therapy disguised as play.
Assistive Technology Labs
It’s difficult to imagine a DeafBlind man navigating a city’s streets on his own. But that’s just
one success story made possible by new technologies and training provided at our Regional
Centers and E.H. Gentry Technical Facility. In fact, what started with a teacher-sponsored Foundation
grant at Gentry has become one of the top-ranked technology programs in the country.
AIDB Foundation legacies created through the years
1868 Miss Dorothea L. Dix donates $10 – AIDB’s first philanthropic gift.
1916 Nellie Johnson creates the first endowment.
1980 AIDB Foundation formed.
1982 The AIDB Foundation founded.
1983 Honors dorms Jemison House and Grace Hall renovated.
1984 Kiwanis Track built.
1985 Hawkins Chapel built.
1988 Manning Hall renovated to house administrative space and a museum.
1990 The Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrians Program established.
1991 Independent Living Centers built at Helen Keller School and the E.H. Gentry Technical Facility.
1992 The Dowling Center renovated.
1996 The Hackney Play Therapy Center built.
1997 The John W. and Loti C. Woods Centers for Excellence in Science and Language Arts built.
2001 Shoals Regional Center built in Tuscumbia.
2002 Dothan Regional Center built.
2004 Recreation Therapy Track built at the Helen Keller School.
2005 Regions Guest House in Talladega renovated.
2006 ASB’s Independent Living Center built.
2006 Alfa-Daniel Hall completed.
2016 The Eugene Landreth Music Center constructed.