Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)



Friday, February 22, 2008

Leaders and Legends: Douglas Inkster

Douglas Inkster
Inducted 2002
Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

Doug Inkster (1925-1993) was born in Michigan. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL and a masters in counseling, testing and guidance and a doctorate from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI in rehabilitation administration. He was wounded in World War II. Doug was married and they had two daughters and a son, all of whom were married before his death in 1993.

Doug Inkster has served with a number of agencies throughout his illustrious career. Early in his career, he served from 1950 to 1960 as the Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator for the Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Lansing. Then in 1960 he assumed the position of Assistant Regional Representative for the US Department of Health Education and Welfare, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Region V. He was Superintendent of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute from 1963 to 1967. For three years he served as Assistant Superintendent of the Chicago State Hospital. Then he broadened his base of experience with shorter terms of employment with a variety of agencies, serving as Director of Vocational Independence Program for the Foundation for the Junior Blind in Los Angeles, as Assistant Executive Director for the National Accreditation Council, as Assistant Director of the Home for Aged Blind in Yonkers, as Executive Director of Vision Enrichment Services, Grand Rapids, and also serving as consultant for REHAB CONCEPTS, Jackson, Michigan.

Doug Inkster will be remembered most for his dynamic leadership and innovative approaches while serving as the Executive Director at the Center for Independent Living in New York from 1972 until his retirement in 1985. He became a national pioneer in the development of adjustment training programs for the older blind and visually impaired population when no other programs of this type existed. During a time in our country when there was a paucity of materials, he developed a set of training manuals for the instruction of independent living skills. Additionally, he strengthened the training and enhanced the acceptability of rehabilitation teacher assistants as a part of the service delivery model.

Many organizations and state services sought his expertise particularly in the areas of rehabilitation administration, program design and evaluation, grant applications, and accreditation. Some of the agencies with whom he consulted included the American Foundation for the Blind, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind, and state services in New Jersey, South Carolina, Wisconsin, New York, and Puerto Rico. He played a lead role in crafting the first NAC accreditation criteria.

Douglas Inkster Douglas Inkster's Hall of Fame Plaque

Plaque sponsored by the family and friends of Douglas Inkster

About the Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is dedicated to preserving, honoring, and promoting the tradition of excellence manifested by the specific individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame and through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired.

These significant professional colleagues of the recent and distant past are a fascinating cross-section of heroes and pioneers who not only shaped our rich history, philosophy, knowledge and skills, but also give us insights into current and future challenges. These giants shared their personal lives and showed us strategies to ensure that services for blind persons remain unique and specialized. Enjoy their lives and contributions and reflect upon your own list of heroes.

Hall of Fame: Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field is a project of the entire field of blindness. It is curated by the American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Visit the virtual Hall of Fame for the inspiring stories of many more heroes of the field of blindness.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.