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2022 Inductees to the Hall of Fame Announced
The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. Although housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, it belongs to the entire field.
The ceremony to induct Kay Ferrell and Trischa Zorn-Hudson will take place during APH’s 154th Annual Meeting of Ex Officio Trustees and Special Guests this fall in Louisville. Joining the sixty-eight outstanding legends already in the Hall, Ferrell and Zorn-Hudson had powerful impacts on thousands of students and teachers and served unique roles in their particular areas of endeavor.
The Class of 2022:
Kay Ferrell: Teacher, Scholar, and Mentor
Dr. Kay A. Ferrell is Professor Emerita at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). She has served as Coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Special Education at UNC; Assistant Dean of the UNC College of Education; Coordinator of the Early Childhood Special Education Program, and Coordinator of the Program in Visual Impairment. She served as Associate Director of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Policy Research Center in Washington, DC. Ferrell also had a long career at Columbia University, where she was Coordinator of the Program in Education of Blind and Visually Impaired Learners. She began her service to the field of blindness and visual impairment as an Education Specialist at the Virginia Commission for the Blind. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education’s Doctor of Philosophy program in Special Education in 1983.
Dr. Ferrell has led approximately 48 research or personnel preparation grants (totaling external funding support of nearly $19M), including co-authoring two federally funded and nationally recognized leadership grants which enabled the field of blindness and visual impairment to recruit and prepare doctoral-level leaders in all aspects of service to blind and visually impaired children and adults.
One of her five books, Reach Out and Teach, is the standard text for all university programs in early childhood education for students with visual disabilities and she was a lead or second author on countless others. She has presented many influential papers at conferences on topics of research and education of individuals with visual disabilities at the regional, national, and international level. She has also served as a U.S. Delegate to the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment.
Dr. Ferrell has served as research advisor and committee member for 52 doctoral graduates at both UNC and Columbia University. She is the recipient of the 2014 Warren G. Bledsoe Award from the AER and the 2013 Migel Medal from the American Foundation for the Blind. She has received the Virgil Zickel Award from the American Printing House for the Blind in 2016; the Alan J Koenig Research Award from the Getting in Touch with Literacy Conference in 2015; the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015; the Mary K. Bauman Award from AER in 2012; the American Foundation for the Blind Corinne M. Kirchner Research Award in 2009; the Distinguished Scholar Award from the UNC in 1999; and the Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1997.
Adapted from the letter of support by George Zimmerman. Dr. Ferrell was nominated by Stuart Wittenstein, Madeline Milian, and Julie Durando.
Trischa Zorn-Hudson: Breaker of Glass Ceilings
Trischa Zorn-Hudson is the most decorated athlete in Olympic or Paralympic history. Her Paralympic swimming career spanned from 1980 to 2004, resulting in 55 medals – forty-one gold, nine silver, and five bronze. She was nominated as Sports Illustrated Women of the Year in 1988 and was inducted into the International Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2012.
For 10 years Zorn-Hudson taught in the inner-city schools of Indianapolis and says that years of swimming prepared her in many ways for a professional career in public service. The students that came through her classroom taught her life lessons she cherishes. During this time, she pursued her passion for law and was accepted into the McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. She graduated in 2007 and worked for two years at the Indiana Pro Bono Commission for two years helping those who were living in underserved communities.
Today, Zorn-Hudson works at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a legal instrument examiner for a 16-state region in helping to protect veterans’ benefits. In her words: “The core values of the agency align to my values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. It is the agency’s mission and mine to work diligently to serve veterans and their beneficiaries. Further, to be able to see veterans exposed to Paralympic sports after their injuries inspires me to continue to do the work I do daily.” During this time, she also volunteered and was a member of the board of directors for the United States Association for Blind Athletes, which brings sport and opportunities to the lives of blind and visually impaired individuals around the country.
Zorn-Hudson used her athletic stardom to serve as a role model for countless other Paralympians and Paralympic hopefuls. From her teaching to her current work with blind veterans, she impacted the blindness community long after her competitive career concluded.
Adapted from the nomination by Molly Quinn.
Visit the Hall of Fame website for information on the Hall and those inducted.
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