At the time of retirement in 2011, Robert E. Johnson was a Professor of Linguistics at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C., where he had been teaching and learning since 1981 in the Department of Linguistics. He holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington State University. He is an anthropological linguist, interested in the phonological and morphological structure of signed languages and their function in deaf communities. He has examined the structures of a number of sign languages, including American Sign Language and the sign language of a Yucatec Maya community. He is co-author of the widely read monograph, "Unlocking the Curriculum: Principles for Achieving Access in Deaf Education," and numerous papers on sign language structure and function.