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Edmiston Named Executive Director of AIDB's Gentry Facility

February 12, 2019 -- AIDB President Dr. John Mascia announced today that Jessica Edmiston has been named Executive Director of E. H. Gentry Facility. Edmiston, who currently serves as Director of the AIDB Birmingham Regional Center, will provide new leadership for statewide training programs for adults with hearing and vision loss.

           “Mrs. Edmiston is a passionate and energetic professional who demonstrates a genuine commitment to enabling our students and staff to discover their limitless potential,” said Dr. Mascia. “She has a strong background in resource and new program development that will be a valuable asset as the Gentry team moves into the future.”

           “We are committed to providing the very best training, technology and supports needed to prepare adults who are deaf, blind or deafblind for the job market and lifestyle of the future and it is vital that Gentry continue to develop effective strategies and partnerships. As a Regional Director in Birmingham, Mrs. Edmiston has provided innovative leadership and is well respected by consumers and community partners.”

           Edmiston first joined Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in 1996 as the Public Relations Coordinator. As a member of the Advancement team, she has also served as a liaison to alumni organizations, and as assistant director of development specializing in state, federal and private grant-writing. She operated Kaizen Consulting, LLC for five years before assuming the role of Director of AIDB’s Birmingham Regional Center and the AIDB Alabama Freedom Center for the Blind.

           She has a Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism and Public Relations from Tennessee Technological University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

           The Gentry Facility marked its 50th year of service last year and helps adults achieve economic and personal independence through employment training, college preparation classes, and independent living skills. Gentry creates customized programs for deaf, blind, deafblind, and general services students using the latest technology and training methods available. The Assistive Technology program was cited as being in the top three percent best in the country.

“I am deeply appreciative, humbled and honored to be the next Executive Director and am truly excited about the possibilities to enhance and expand Gentry's programs on a state and national level,” said Mrs. Edmiston. 

“For almost 24 years, AIDB has been my second family. I immersed myself within the various cultures and communities of those we serve which has enabled me to understand the abilities of individuals with hearing and vision loss and/or multiple disabilities as well as the obstacles faced in early intervention, education, rehabilitation and employment fields. I look forward to creating new partnerships and collaborations both internally and externally with our staff, students and constituents at Gentry.”