About Barbara Scheiber
Barbara Scheiber (1922-2021) began writing as a child growing up in the Washington Heights section of New York City, where one of her joys was writing and putting on plays with neighborhood friends. She graduated from Vassar shortly after Pearl Harbor, joining two classmates in a plan to organize local community support for the war effort. Their work led them to Clarion, Iowa, where her writing about the success of their innovative project came to the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, who invited the young women to dinner at the White House to describe their experience to President Roosevelt.
She went on to write news reports and radio plays on the war’s progress for United Press Radio, worked as a speechwriter for the American Jewish Congress, and produced a prize-winning series of radio plays for the Jewish Theological Seminary, broadcast on NBC.
After she married in 1948, Barbara and her husband moved to the Washington, DC area, where they brought up their four children. The youngest, Robert, was born with Williams syndrome, a rare developmental disability. This led her to become an early advocate for disabled individuals, writing and speaking for the rights and opportunities of a previously neglected population. She served as director of a national organization providing critically needed information for parents of children with disabilities, and co-wrote the groundbreaking book, Unlocking Potential: College and Other Choices for Learning Disabled People, with Jeanne Talpers (Adler and Adler, 1987). To help answer questions faced by parents like herself, she later wrote Fulfilling Dreams: A Handbook for Parents of People with Williams Syndrome (WSA, 2002).
She turned to her long-held dream of writing fiction after participating in workshops with Doris Grumbach and Shirley Cochrane. Her short stories were published in numerous publications including the Antietam Review, Whetstone, and Oasis Journal, and included in the anthology Amazing Graces (Paycock Press, 2012). Her writing garnered recognition including Best Fiction from Oasis Journal and Whetstone, a fiction award from the Maryland Arts Council, and nomination for a Pushcart Prize.
Her husband of 66 years, Walter Scheiber, was known for his contributions as a pioneering leader in regional government.