The Judy Henry Ceramic Center
Judy Henry was born with Down syndrome in 1942. Doctors advised her parents, H. Albert and Irene Henry to place Judy in an institution. Against the standard practices of the day, Mr. and Mrs. Henry lovingly cared for their daughter at home and they saw how she thrived as a member of the family; but they did not stop there. Mr. and Mrs. Henry along with five other parents of children with special needs formed the Retarded Children’s Aid (RCA) in 1950 to create some of Illinois’ first educational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental disabilities.
In 1964, the RCA, merged with two other small agencies to create the Chicago Association for Retarded Children (CARC) and Judy participated in agency programming, every day, until she passed away at the age of fifty.
Her parents continued to advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities and fortunately, they applied their talents to our agency. When Irene Henry began her tireless volunteer work in 1950, she worked with five children; when she retired in the 1990’s, that number had expanded to 1,400. Mr. Henry applied his considerable talents to helping to create and develop a foundation that supported the efforts of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and served as its very first president until his retirement in 1984
We extend our deepest gratitude to Albert J. Henry whose generosity and desire to honor the memory of his sister allowed our agency to provide a tremendous new resource for the people whom Envision supports.
The Judy Henry Ceramic Center allows people to work with a block of clay and, with their own hands, fashion it into something beautiful and lasting. It is a wonderful celebration of the life of Judy Henry, and all of our earliest clients and supporters. These courageous individuals and families created programs and services when there were no such kind of supports. The parental dreams of better lives for their children with special needs created the rock-solid foundation upon which Envision took root and flourished.