in the Field of Blindness and Visual Impairment
from Kathleen M. Huebner, Co-Director NCLVI
Dr. Maurer, Friends, and Colleagues at the National Federation of the Blind:
My sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy at this time of mourning for the loss of Dr. Zaborowski . I also share with all of you the celebration of her life. I considered Betsy to be my friend, my colleague and my inspiration. I feel blessed to be among those who could call her friend, privileged to call her colleague, and know that she will live forever with me as an inspiration.
I will always remember the first time I was introduced to "Dr. Z" by Dr. Maurer in the halls of NFB in Baltimore. At the time , Betsy was then working on the Braille is Beautiful Project. At first I was struck by her presence. She was tall, slim, sophisticated, elegantly dressed and had the most beautiful hair. Then she spoke, and I was impressed by her conviction, knowledge, spirit, and commitment. I came to find, that all of the physical, intellectual, and personality characteristics I saw were who I came to know as "Betsy". I later was able to learn that she had a wonderful sense of humor, was an avid skier, and that she had many dimensions beyond my first impressions, but that those first impressions were constants.
I, and so many more I am sure, feel cheated that she has left us too soon. I will let others talk about her many many professional contributions. I acknowledge and appreciate them, but I will miss the colleageal relationship that Betsy and I shared and the friendship that we were building. Our professional relationship was sometimes tumultuous but always honest and mutually respectful. Our friendship was built on our shared professional goals and dreams for the future, but it was growing beyond that. We shared both cultural and religious aspects of our heritage and frequently discussed the parts of our culture that we had in common. I was so certain her strength of spirit and fight would see her through her struggle with cancer and that she and Jim, her beloved husband, would be able to take the dream trip to Poland that they found necessary to "postpone" last year. Betsy knew who she was, her values, and her beliefs and I admired that about her. I will miss her counsel, her leadership, her example and her strength of conviction. I will miss her elegance, warmth and sense of humor. I am grateful for having known her and for having to been able to share a small part of her life. I thank her for all she taught me and promise to keep her voice and conviction in my heart.
Kathleen M. Huebner, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean
Co-Director, National Center for Leadership in Vision Impairment
Chairperson for North American and Caribbean Region of International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Graduate Studies in Vision Impairment
Pennsylvania College of Optometry
8360 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027
Phone: 215 780-1360 Fax: 215-780-1357