On September 13, we lost a brilliant leader and I lost a dear friend, Richard "Rick" L. Welsh, Ph.D. Rick was a driving force in the blindness field and a huge advocate for quality services for people with vision loss. He had the ability to identify challenges and rally the field around critical issues. His professional experience spanned university preparation programs, schools for the blind, and adult agencies; he excelled in every endeavor. He was the first president of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind (AER), the leading professional organization in our field, and his work with AER paved the way for those who followed. One of his most notable contributions to our field was his work as co-editor of Foundations of Orientation and Mobility, first published by AFB in 1980. He also served on AFB's Board of Trustees.
Rick fought a long and courageous battle with cancer for many more years than his doctors thought he would. He was a brave and wonderful person with a fantastic sense of humor. I know I speak for many when I say he will be dearly missed.
To learn more about Rick's life, please read our article in the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness.