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  • In Memoriam: Dr. John T. Tiffany
  • Harold Mowl Jr. , Donald Rhoten, and Joseph Finnegan

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The Deaf community lost a true friend when Dr. John T. Tiffany passed away at his home in Talladega, AL, on September 30, 2013. He was 66 years of age.

A native of Dixon, IL, Dr. Tiffany held a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Tiffany had a distinguished career working as a teacher at Dixon State School, in Illinois; teacher and principal at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind; assistant superintendent at the Kentucky School for the Deaf; teacher coordinator for deaf and hard of hearing children at the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative, in Morrison, IL; principal at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB); director of the AIDB Regional Center, in Huntsville, AL; executive assistant to the president of AIDB; and headmaster at the New York State School for the Deaf. His career spanned 40 years, from 1970 to 2010.

Dr. Tiffany’s work touched on the lives of many students, but his largest single accomplishment was bringing to fruition the Space Camp/Aviation Challenge for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a program at the United States Space and Rocket Center, in Huntsville. Over 2,000 students and staff from the United States and other countries have attended the camp since its inception in 1987.

Dr. Tiffany served on the board of directors of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) and was one of the leaders who helped put together The National Agenda: Moving Forward on Achieving Educational Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (April 2005). He was a strong proponent of equal educational opportunities in the least restrictive environment for all deaf and hard of hearing children. In addition to CEASD, Dr. Tiffany belonged to many organizations and associations.

An accomplished user of American Sign Language, Dr. Tiffany was always willing to help out as an interpreter, and he was always ready to help out in any way if a person needed it. He was gregarious, fun, and engaged, and never shy about sharing his opinion on things. His passing left behind his wife, Selena, four children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. In Alabama, where he worked and lived for more than 25 years, Dr. Tiffany was a hero among Deaf people. The number of Deaf people attending his memorial service at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Talladega on October 4 proved that Dr. Tiffany was a true advocate of the Deaf and indeed “larger than life.” [End Page 483]

Harold Mowl Jr.
Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer
Rochester School for the Deaf, Rochester, NY
Donald Rhoten
Chief Executive Officer
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Pittsburgh, PA
Joseph Finnegan
Executive Director
Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools
and Programs for the Deaf, St. Augustine, FL


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