A photo of Bob Puyear at his computer wearing his headset to use Dragon softwareI first met Bob Puyear, over twenty years ago at an Independent Living Conference in Fargo, North Dakota. I couldn’t have known, nor even dreamed how much he would serve and shape the IPAT program, as an advocate, user, and real believer in assistive technology.

So, it is with true appreciation and a heavy heart that IPAT bids him a fond farewell. Bob has decided the time has come to resign from his positions on the IPAT Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) and the IPAT Board of Directors. We honor his decision, and know he will leave empty seats that will be hard to fill. He has had a significant run of service: 20 years on the CAC and 7 years on the IPAT Board.

In both roles, Bob has been vital in helping IPAT grow. As a person living with a disability, he provided insights on program direction that only someone requiring AT to lead a full life could.

He was a good listener, synthesizer of information, and our biggest fan. He helped us to see that sometimes giving a good account of what we were achieving was necessary, and he and his wife Shirley were always there to help us do that. For many, they are the face of AT in North Dakota as they were gracious enough to be part of awareness videos, program brochures, and office posters promoting the use and understanding of AT.

Bob’s advice was always thoughtful and sound, and as result he left IPAT better than he found it. He is directly responsible for our robust internet presence, the production of our biennium report, and IPAT funding at the federal and state level through advocacy and action during the legislative processes. What an IPAT legacy – thank you, and all the best Bob!

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