Gary Ray attended public schools in North Carolina and is a 1973 graduate of N. C. State University with a degree in history, and a letter in fencing. He has worked as a rehabilitation counselor for the Division of Services for the Blind, and in private industry. He then worked for the NC Library for the Blind and Physically handicapped where he was the Director of Volunteer Services, retiring in 2007.
Gary is married, and lives in Asheville. He has Inverse Retinitis Pigmentosa and has been blind since 1980.
Since retirement Gary has done consulting on accessibility and is still involved in all things blind in North Carolina.
Gary is the Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.
Community involvement in the past and present includes:
- President of the National Federation of the Blind of North Carolina
- Gary has been President of the Friends of the NC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
- Chair of the Consumer and Advocacy Advisory Committee for the Blind of the NC Department of Health and Human Services
- Raleigh Mayor’s Committee for Persons With Disabilities
- Long-time member and officer of the Wake County Chapter of the NFB of NC
- President of the NC Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Member of the North Raleigh Advisory Board for the State Employees Credit Union
- Member and officer of the Wake Community Lions Club
- Member of the Board of Directors of Arts Access of Raleigh
- Juror for the Excellence in Universal Housing Design Award of the Center for Universal Design at NC State University
Secretary/Treasurer of the Buncombe County Federation of the Blind.
Gary has been honored with numerous awards throughout his career, including:
- 2000 Supervisor of the Year by the Raleigh Mayor’s Committee for Persons With Disabilities (RMCPD
- 2006 Civic Leader of the Year by the RMCPD and was then named the Civic Leader of the Year in NC by the Statewide Mayor’s Committee Awards Committee.
- 2006 Triangle Access Award for his work in accessibility
- 2007 Lion of the Year by the Wake Community Lions Club
- 2009 Best Citizen of the NC Association of Workers for the Blind
- 2011 Rachel Rawls Award by the NC Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. The Rawls Award is the highest award to be given to professionals working in the field of blindness in North Carolina.
Gary’s hobbies include reading, computers, and peer counseling.