Dallas, TX (August 5, 2015)—Today the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced that Judy Castle Scott, a longtime champion and pioneer in the field of vision loss, will retire in the fall of 2015, after 46 years of distinguished service. Scott is currently the director of the AFB Center on Vision Loss and Web Programs, a role that allows her to fulfill her dream of providing hope, help and connection to people affected by sight loss.
"Judy has had a wonderful impact on the lives of people with vision loss," said Carl R. Augusto, president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. "She has moved mountains and expanded possibilities for countless people, particularly for those new to vision loss, who often don’t know where to turn for help, or how to move forward after their diagnosis."
Scott has dedicated her professional life to helping people with vision loss to live independently, believe in their capabilities and pursue their dreams. With over 40 years' experience in aging and visual impairment, she has championed many successful campaigns to fundraise and develop new programs for people impacted by vision loss. Most notably, she envisioned, created and led a $2.3 million campaign to fund the AFB Center on Vision Loss in Dallas, a national demonstration and training site to help individuals and their families learn how to cope and live successfully with a visual impairment.
"Judy has a 'can do' spirit that is utterly contagious," said Larry B. Kimbler, chair of the AFB National Board of Trustees, and a huge supporter and early champion of the AFB Center on Vision Loss. "Her ideas, perseverance and passion have helped hundreds of thousands of people throughout Texas and the nation live productive, independent, active lives, free from many of the fears that can result from losing sight."
In addition to Scott's work leading the AFB Center on Vision Loss and AFB's Web Programs—CareerConnect, FamilyConnect, VisionAware—she led AFB's National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss, a coalition of 140 vision rehabilitation professionals who worked to increase federal funding for independent living programs for adults with age-related eye conditions. Her efforts also helped to make significant public structures such as the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Terminal D, AT&T Cowboys Stadium, and the American Airlines Center more accessible for people with visual disabilities.
In recognition of Scott's contributions, AFB has launched an endowment campaign to safeguard the AFB Center on Vision Loss' life-changing programs into the future. (To support the campaign, call 469-522-1802 or visit the Judy Scott Fund Web page). In addition, AFB will be naming the Great Hall at the Center the "Judy Scott Conference Center."
"I've always felt I could do anything, in spite of my vision loss, and I want others to feel the same," said Judy Scott, recounting her life's work. "It has been an honor to spend my career helping others, changing attitudes and developing programs that improve lives. I want to thank my colleagues, my amazing and supportive husband, Dave and everyone I've worked with to make our world a better place for people who are blind or visually impaired."
Judy Scott has received numerous honors in recognition of her work. In 2010, she was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame and selected as a first-time recipient of the Texas ACB "Who's Who among Blind Texans Award." She was named a 2011 Kappa Delta Woman of Achievement and as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University—Commerce. She was appointed to the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities in 1996 and appointed as chair by Governor Perry in 2007. She serves on many other committees and boards dedicated to full access. Scott holds an M.S. in Counseling and Guidance/Aging and a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from Texas A&M—Commerce (formerly East Texas State University.)
"Judy's drive, enthusiasm and leadership will be truly missed at AFB. Our very best wishes to her as she prepares to embark on this new chapter," added Augusto.
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The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.