John Darby has been a tireless advocate for individuals with hearing loss for over 50 years. Having started his career as a Clinical Audiologist, he went on to lead a number of innovative programs and advocacy efforts for individuals with hearing loss.
During his 35 years as director of the Hearing Society for the Bay Area, John led the agency in a number of initiatives and advocacy efforts in the field of hearing loss and deafness. Listed below are highlights of some of the key programs and services that he administered during this time.
- Helped secure the passage of the first licensing law for the practice of speech/language pathology and audiology.
- Helped secure the passage of legislation requiring captioning and sign language in emergency announcements on TV.
- Worked with many public agencies in the Bay Area to promote the availability of assistive listening devices in public settings.
- Moved a demonstration hearing testing site to Mt. Zion Hospital where it became an independent project and later incorporated into the Hearing and Speech Center. This was the first community hearing testing site in the area.
- Established lip-reading classes on television.
- With support from the Lions Club, he established the "Lion's Den," a collection of assistive technology available for display and demonstration.
- Started a demonstration project to provide services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing with alcohol or substance abuse issues.
- In collaboration with the Community College of San Francisco, he established the first sign language class for late-deafened adults.
- Created a pilot project for early intervention with infants who are deaf which was later incorporated as the Center for Education of the Infant Deaf.
- Started demonstration project on services for people with acquired losses of hearing and vision.
John also served as President of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association and on the Legislative Council of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for over 20 years. He was a founding member of the San Francisco Mayor's Council on Disabilities, Association of Executives of United Way Member Agencies in San Francisco, and the Wireless Access Coalition. John was also a founding member of the California Communications Access Foundation (CCAF) where he currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors.
John has been an asset and a strong force for advocacy and positive change in the California deaf and hard of hearing communities. He has been described as a genuine person who embodies a depth of caring and gratitude towards others. California is fortunate to have such a person and we congratulate and recognize John Darby for his many accomplishments.
This leadership recognition has been brought to you by Hamilton Relay.
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