In the field of orientation and mobility, the late John D. Malamazian was a fierce advocate of hope, self-determination and dignity for persons with blindness and low vision.
"My father was a pioneer in the field of orientation and mobility," says daughter Carol Otten. "He had the highest level of commitment to providing quality care. He was especially passionate about veterans and making sure they received the services they deserved, and through that, learn independence".
Malamazian entered the University of Illinois after World War II and graduated with honors in 1948 with a degree in physical education. He then embarked on a distinguished career in rehabilitation, starting as a corrective therapist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Hines, Ill. and working his way through the ranks to become chief of the blind center there.
Throughout his years at the Hines Blind Center, Malamazian used his enormous reserves of patience and understanding to build patients' self-confidence and their trust in him, his staff and the rehabilitation program. He also mentored and became a colleague of the many interns from Western Michigan University's orientation and mobility program. He was always proud of friends and colleagues who taught with him at Hines.
He retired from the blind center after 33 years of dedicated service, but continued to enhance the lives of the visually impaired by helping to develop a top-notch orientation and mobility program at WMU. In March, 1983, he passed away suddenly, leaving a legacy of dedication for those who followed to carry on.
With gifts from family, friends and many organizations, the Malamazian family initiated the John D. Malamazian Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund in Blind Rehabilitation in memory of him and his contributions to the orientation and mobility field. As Malamazian did during his lifetime, the family continues to expand the horizons, hopes and dreams of the visually impaired through this memorial scholarship fund.