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Kathleen “Ryan” McDonald Named Huntsville Regional Center Director

Kathleen “Ryan” McDonald, M.Ed. has been named Director of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) Huntsville Regional Center. 

McDonald began her career as Vocational Instructor for the Deaf at the Mobile Association for the Blind. During this time, she also worked for one year in partnership with the AIDB Mobile Regional Center as the Case Manager for the Deaf. She went on to join the Independent Living Center of Mobile as the Deaf Service Coordinator before joining the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services as a Deaf Support Specialist. 

“As Case Manager for the Deaf, Ryan has served AIDB as an integral part of our team,” said John Mascia, Au.D., President, AIDB. “Her invaluable experience, knowledge, and leadership will ensure that the Huntsville Regional Center continues to positively impact the lives of individuals living in North Alabama.”

McDonald joined the team at AIDB’s E. H. Gentry Facility as a Vocational Evaluator for the Deaf before becoming a Rehabilitation Teacher for the Deaf. She then worked as a Program Coordinator at Mountain Lakes Behavioral Healthcare before becoming the Case Manager for the Deaf at the AIDB Huntsville Regional Center. 

“I am so excited for Ryan to step into this role,” said Isaac Beavers, Executive Director, Office of Field Services, AIDB. “She was also the chairperson of AIDB’s inaugural DeaFest which was a successful event with nearly 500 attendees and more than 50 vendors. I'm proud of what she, the first Deaf woman to be a Regional Director, has accomplished. I look forward to continuing to support and mentor her as she leads the Huntsville Regional Center Team.” 

After graduating from AIDB’s Alabama School for the Deaf, McDonald went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Auburn University. 

“I am blessed to work with a great Huntsville team,” said McDonald. “I look forward to working with the team to improve our center in all service areas. I grew up in an AIDB family with my father serving on the Board of Trustees. I remember coming to AIDB with him for his meetings and while there, he would encourage me to interact with AIDB’s students who are deaf. Alabama School for the Deaf and its great mentors really shaped who I am today. I look forward to helping our AIDB community in North Alabama.”

In addition to serving as the Director of the AIDB Huntsville Regional Center, McDonald also served as the Interim Director of the AIDB Decatur Regional Center.