Honors of the Association
AG Bell’s prestigious Honors of the Association Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated dedication to, and sustained efforts toward, the mission of AG Bell. Past recipients include former AG Bell President Kathleen Sussman, Mildred Oberkotter, Dr. Stephen Epstein, Helen Beebe, Doreen Pollack, Bruce A. Goldstein, Esq., Ken Levinson and Inez Janger, among others. AG Bell is honored to present the 2014 award to John Stanton, Esq.
Stanton is the current chair of the AG Bell Public Affairs Council and is a longtime volunteer with AG Bell—a tireless advocate for movie captioning as well as promoting Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) in the classroom. He has generously contributed his legal talents and expertise over many years to advance issues of critical concern to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Stanton is senior counsel at the Washington, D.C. law office of Holland & Knight, LLP, where he specializes in appellate advocacy litigation and has worked on numerous cases involving civil rights laws. He also has written extensively about the history of people with disabilities and has extensive pro bono experience in the fi eld of disability advocacy, which he has put to full use in his tireless commitment to AG Bell’s advocacy and regulatory efforts.
He graduated from Dartmouth College and the Georgetown University Law Center. After obtaining his law degree, Stanton served as a judicial clerk for Judge Nathaniel Jones on the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, he worked at the Washington, D.C. office of Howrey, LLP.
Stanton became deaf in early childhood and grew up using spoken language and speechreading, and received a cochlear implant in 2001. He has been a member of AG Bell since the mid-1990s and is a former member of the board of directors. As chair of the Public Affairs Council, Stanton is instrumental in establishing the direction of AG Bell’s public policy efforts. During his long and deep involvement in the association, Stanton has fi led numerous briefs on behalf of AG Bell in courts at every level, advocating for the advancement of rights for people with hearing loss. He has also guided AG Bell in cases where the association chooses to fi le amicus briefs or other petitions on behalf of individuals with hearing loss pursuing appropriate accommodations. He has worked with the association on the development of many of its position statements, including on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the fi rst international treaty to address disability rights.
One of Stanton’s most recent publications is a law review article on the history of lawyers who are deaf and hard of hearing. “Breaking the Sound Barriers: How the Americans With Disabilities Act and Technology Have Enabled Deaf Lawyers to Succeed” published in the Valparaiso Law Review recounts the history of deaf lawyers in the 19th century and discusses the obstacles that aspiring deaf lawyers and law students have encountered throughout most of the 20th century until the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed. Stanton provides numerous examples of how increased awareness, greater legal protections and advanced technology have removed many of the barriers that deaf lawyers have faced throughout the decades by sharing his own experiences as well as those of many AG Bell members, including Rachel Arfa, Michael Tecklenburg, Bonnie Tucker, Laura Gold, Mac Gibson, Susan Harris, Michael Stein and Caitlin Parton.