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Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Central Alabama Community College Announce New Dual Enrollment Program

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Central Alabama Community College Announce New Dual Enrollment Program


Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and Central Alabama Community College (CACC) have long-partnered to provide a bridge to postsecondary education and training opportunities for adult students who are deaf, deafblind, blind or multidisabled. Today, they continue to build upon initial infrastructure, widening the bridge for this distinct population.

Piloting a Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) dual enrollment program set to begin on January 10, 2022, three of AIDB's E. H. Gentry Facility students and three E. H. Gentry Work Experience/Manufacturing staffers will attend MSSC classes onsite within Talladega's CACC campus. Transportation, interpreters and accessible materials in American Sign Language, Braille and large print will be provided by AIDB.

“CACC has been an amazing partner to AIDB and we are thrilled to see the partnership continue to grow with the addition of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council dual enrollment program,” said John Masica, Au.D., President, AIDB. “AIDB stands ready to create a future-ready resilient workforce that is well equipped to meet the needs of today’s employers.”

"We are so proud to expand our long-time partnership with AIDB with the MSSC pilot dual enrollment program, and additional workforce and academic course offerings" Jeff Lynn, president of CACC stated. "This is an outstanding opportunity to grow and provide additional career opportunities to the students at AIDB through dual enrollment and normal courses.  We have some really big plans for our Talladega Center, and this program will definitely enhance the offerings we currently have at the center."

Currently, 10 E. H. Gentry students attend both academic and credentialing classes through CACC in Talladega, Childersburg and Alexander City in partnership with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS). Tutoring and academic supports are provided by E. H. Gentry Facility.

Through this pilot initiative, once students become MSSC credentialed, E. H. Gentry Facility Job Developers and Job Coaches will work with local industry partners, cultivated by CACC, to place students in paid, 90-day work experience placements, with the students' hourly wages offset by E. H. Gentry and ADRS. As the students learn the job, they will be supported by E. H. Gentry Facility Job Developers and Job Coaches who help facilitate any accommodations needed, educating the businesses on the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, including tax incentives and a truly inclusive and diverse workforce. The goal is for the students to become full-time team members upon the conclusion of the 90-day trial period or, because of the credentials and experience obtained, obtain full-time employment in a similar business or industry.

"The MSSC program is a great way to introduce students to industry and align them with jobs that will lead to full time employment in those fields," Michael Barnette, Dean of Workforce at CACC mentioned. "We are already looking to add more programs which will give students more options when they come to CACC."

Both AIDB and CACC anticipate building additional bridges with AIDB's K12 programs - the Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama School for the Deaf and Helen Keller School of Alabama - including the potential for summer classes for students and/or potentially staff who are interested in additional training and upward mobility.

"We are fortunate to have two strong educational partners like AIDB and CACC here in Talladega county who are working together to provide world class opportunities for our citizens," Representative Steve Hurst said. "Educational partnerships, such as this, will only help our area of the state grow stronger and will be the driving force behind economic development."


About Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind

Founded in 1858, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is America’s most comprehensive education, rehabilitation and service program serving individuals of all ages who are blind, deaf, deafblind or multidisabled. Through five campuses in Talladega and a statewide network of Regional Centers, AIDB provides services to over 30,000 people per year. For more information please visit


Central Alabama Community College

Central Alabama Community College (CACC) is an open-access public community college with a mission to promote “student success in comprehensive and diverse academic and career learning environments to advance quality of life through economic, community and workforce development.” The College currently operates the Alexander City Campus, Childersburg Campus, Prattville Campus, and Talladega Center, offering resources and expertise, which address the educational and training needs of central Alabama.


Media Contacts:

Jacque Cordle, Advancement Officer, Marketing and Community Relations, AIDB / (256) 589-8024