Longtime friend and past UDS Board chairperson, Judy Read, passed away on May 12. Judy was a true champion for individuals with disabilities, and during her tenure as chairperson she brought great passion to her leadership and made sure that our mission was always at the forefront of every meeting. The tradition of presenting a “Mission Moment” before each Board meeting was started by Judy, and continues to this day as a reminder as to why this work is so important to so many. Just last year Judy was named as an honorary trustee of UDS for her substantial contributions to this agency.
Judy will also be remembered for the very special role she played in the establishment of the UDS Low Vision Services program. In 1994, she was on the board of the Akron Blind Center when Dr. Cheryl Reed first established a low vision clinic. Several years, later, Judy and her husband, Roger, provided a generous challenge grant which allowed the clinic to build a new program in the AES building in Akron. This clinic became UDS Low Vision Services and remained at that location until the clinic moved to our main campus nearly two years ago. Over the years, Judy and Roger have provided guidance and support to the clinic during multiple transitions before becoming a program of UDS.
In her honor, the low vision clinic will be renamed Judith A. Read Low Vision Services. We will be forever grateful for her leadership and commitment to this program that has enhanced the lives of so many dealing with low vision issues. Her caring and generous spirit will be greatly missed by all of us at UDS who had the privilege of knowing her.