As GLAD’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Patricia Hughes joined the agency in 2003 with well-rounded career experience within government, public and private non-profit sectors, for-profit corporations and as an independent contractor. Dr. Hughes (some call her Dr. Patty) works closely with GLAD’s Board of Directors and staff to develop and administer a 10-county program providing social services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind. Dr. Hughes has been an advocate all her life – she is passionate about seeing deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people receive the same access to services as hearing people.
Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Hughes provided NAD’s technical assistance on Section 504 anti-discrimination laws. She was involved in implementing the first statewide TRS (telephone relay service) system operated by nonprofit agencies and TTY equipment distribution system in the United States. She provided consultation to several telephone companies and states during this process. Dr. Hughes served on numerous committees to develop guidelines under Title 4 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She served on the U.S. Commission on Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as the Chair of its Executive Committee. Dr. Hughes was the first deaf person to be accepted to Seattle University’s Graduate Program in Public Administration. She was also the first deaf person accepted to the accredited Union Institute where she obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree emphasizing Organizational Development.
Born deaf to deaf parents, Dr. Hughes is the proud mother of two children, Jake and Iris.