Gil Johnson to Retire from the American Foundation for the Blind
New York, NY (March 18, 2008)—Today the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced that Gil Johnson, Senior Advisor, Critical Issues, will retire on June 13, 2008, after more than 40 years of working to identify and address critical national issues affecting employment and rehabilitation of people with vision loss.
"Gil Johnson is not only a good friend and inspiration to all who have worked with him, but also a true advocate for people who are blind or visually impaired," said Carl R. Augusto, President and CEO of AFB. "I will miss his insights, expertise, and his humor."
Johnson joined AFB in 1992, providing leadership for its research and advocacy work in the areas of employment and rehabilitation. In this capacity, he helped AFB develop effective models to fill gaps in the training-to-work continuum, provide training to service-delivery professionals, and strengthen communications among constituent groups.
Johnson was instrumental in forming an alliance of consumers and service providers to create a Division for the Blind in the California Department of Rehabilitation to increase state placement success. He also collaborated with Motorola to create three training programs for executives, HR professionals, and supervisors that was part of the highly respected Motorola University. In 2000, Johnson received the John H. McAulay Award from the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), which was established to honor professionals who have contributed outstanding efforts and achievements leading to the placement of people with visual impairments in productive employment.
Prior to working with AFB, Johnson served as the director of the Bureau of Blind Services, Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services, where he directed and administered a comprehensive statewide rehabilitation program for persons who are blind or visually impaired. Previously, Johnson served in a number of directorial and counseling capacities for the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and the California Department of Rehabilitation. He was an appointed member of the California State Rehabilitation Council, is the author or co-author of more than a dozen journal articles, and regularly delivers presentations and workshops at conferences of professionals and consumers.