In Memoriam Scott LaBarre: A Statement on his Passing

Scott LaBarre at the podium

The following message is from the National Federation of the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, and the Colorado Center for the Blind.

It has been a difficult year of loss for the circle of friendship we share in our movement. We regretfully share the devastating loss of Scott LaBarre, who passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, December 10. Most recently serving as our national general council, Scott has been a longtime Federationist, a fierce leader in our movement, and a great friend to so many of us. The outpouring of love from the Federation family was deeply felt by Scott, but his challenging medical condition could not be overcome. More details about services for this extraordinary individual, along with information about how we can support his wife, Anahit, and children, Alex and Carter, will be coming soon.

We are overwhelmingly grateful for the decades of work that Scott did for the blind of his generation and beyond, from arguing in the courts on behalf of blind people who experienced discrimination, to his service as president of the Colorado affiliate, to the close personal mentorship he freely gave to hundreds of individuals—all while raising a family. Scott was a lawyer who ran his own private law practice in the areas of employment law, disability rights, and international copyright policy. He held several leadership positions within the American Bar Association and the organized blind movement. He served as chairman of the Colorado Center for the Blind, led the National Association of Blind Lawyers, and helped establish and guide the Jacobus tenBroek Law Symposium. His impact will continue to ripple across the world because of his leadership in securing the Marrakesh Treaty, an international agreement permitting the sharing of accessible books, which was just one among the many ways he created positive and lasting change.

The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado presented a tribute to Scott at the 2021 state convention that shares more about his story and enduring influence, and we will continue to celebrate his life and service. Per the request of his family, memorial contributions should be directed to either the Colorado Center for the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind for the work to empower blind people to live the lives they want, to which Scott gave so much. We send our love and gratitude to him and his family.