News from Fedcap

In Memoriam: Patricia Livingston

Fedcap mourns the passing of Dr. Patricia Livingston, who was the distinguished voice of vocational rehabilitation expertise during her time on Fedcap’s Board. Dr. Livingston, who died July 10 at age 87, was a widely respected leader and advocate for people with disabilities. Born in St. Paul, she graduated from the University of Minnesota and got her Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling from New York University, where she was Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling Studies as well as chair and head of NYU Steinhardt’s health division. She retired from NYU in 1987 after nearly three decades.

Maureen Bentley, Fedcap’s Vice President, Vocational Services, was one of Dr. Livingston’s many mentees and wrote: “I was privileged to have learned from Dr. Livingston academically and also by her dedication to serving people with disabilities and her tireless commitment to changing social climate and attitudes. She embodied the principles of vocational rehabilitation and was a significant leader in professionally developing the field.”

Dr. Livingston’s colleagues on the Fedcap Board also remember her with admiration and fondness. Board member and former Chair Peter Panken wrote: “Pat Livingston was always a wonderful contributor to the work of the Fedcap Board. Her knowledge of the rehabilitation field was an invaluable addition to the expertise of other Board members whose fields included business and finance. She gave us the benefit of her experience in the field, her learning and her wisdom. When she retired from the Board, she left a void of expertise in the area which it took us some time to fill. She was missed then and will be missed by all who benefited from her experience, thoughtfulness, learning and wisdom.”

Others’ tributes mention that Dr. Livingston was outspoken and tenacious but always charming. According to one report, she was active until the last day of her life in the political struggle to gain New York State licensure for rehabilitation counselors. Dr. Livingston also served on the Board of the International Center for the Disabled. Among her many recognitions, the Metro New York chapter of The National Rehabilitation Association established the Dr. Patricia J. Livingston Public Policy Award for an individual who has shown particular sensitivity with regard to public policy at the local, state or federal level, enhancing the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

And all New Yorkers owe her an additional debt of gratitude for her 10-year campaign that led to New York City’s 1978 “Pooper Scooper” law.

Dr. Livingston is survived by her husband of 54 years, Arthur Livingston.