[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Judy Druck

elisabethaxel at aol.com elisabethaxel at aol.com
Sun Apr 4 04:39:08 UTC 2010

Grandma Judy died this morning. Most of you know that Grandma Judy was my inspiration to begin Art Education for the Blind and for many years was a key reviewer of our experimental work -- inventing a "tactile" and "verbal" language to translate the visual into what we now call a "multi-modal" language for blind people. Encouraging blind people to draw, to paint, to do photography.  Grandma conducted our earliest trainings at museums with me and so many of you knew her personally.  I share this email with my extended Art Beyond Sight/ Art Education for the Blind "family".  Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month shows just how much her inspiration and all of your perspiration has accomplished. To think that when I tried to take Grandma to a museum back in 1987 that I could only find one that could really accommodate us in New York City. 

She said so many times "Elisabeth I wish I could be in your pocket." You know Grandma Judy will always be in my pocket. And my friends and colleagues, whoever has been your inspiration, I hope they continue to encourage you on in your pocket too. While we sure have a long way to go, look just how far we all have come together.

As my brother said so well, "Grandma lived an incredible life of love, independence, and courage. I never heard her complain about anything other than her shoes.  The way she dealt with her adversity was an inspiration and lesson. "
In the last few weeks Grandma and I spoke of Art Education for the Blind's past and future plans --- 
About the past -- we reminisced about AEB's first class and in particular one of the first students who was really depressed and was not leaving his apartment. In fact, he told Grandma he was considering suicide. Well, Grandma "gave it" to this gentleman to live life and not complain. Grandma "reached" this gentleman who though blind, took back up the photography that he loved, got a job and got married. 

And about AEB's future -- she was thrilled by the White House support of our cause -- really thrilled-- she knew as I know that this is the first time in so many years that we're seeing the possibility of lasting change in our field; about the change in federal funding guidelines to include stronger "access" language  she said "don't tell me about the idea, tell me when the idea is done";  about the plans for a tour for blind people of the White House; our May benefit -- that Daryl and Ved would  speak....museums opening up...kids learning daily living skills, self esteem, people who are on the outside being included.

Grandma said to my son Elisha age 7: " Have a good life". And that, essentially has been the essence of Grandma's and my  efforts together. That all people should have a good life. 

This below photo was taken last week. Here's Grandma enjoying a meal at her favorite restaurant. Hot chocolate, chopped liver, "crispy fish", mashed potato and carrots dressed in her pink Brooks Brother's cashmere sweater. Thanks to a taxi that was wheel chair accessible. Access and Inclusion for all.





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