Category: IL Leaders

October 24, 2022 Sue Rorke

Massachusetts’ most stalwart disability rights advocate Paul W. Spooner died unexpectedly on October 8th, after a brief hospital stay. His life partner, Winifred McGraw, was by his side. He was 67 and had been a resident of Taunton for the last 28 years. Paul was born in Hawaii and lived in both Japan and Switzerland,… Read More

Paul Spooner

September 20, 2018 Sue Rorke

Pat Wright’s leadership during the ADA’s passage eventually earned her the nickname “The General.” She was one of a handful of leading strategizers based in Washington, DC, and worked especially closely with Ralph Neas, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Wright and Neas collaborated with a number of other leaders who focused… Read More

Pat Wright

September 20, 2018 Sue Rorke

The Dimenet Network has an extensive memorial page for Roland Sykes with images, quotes, writings and testimonials. We’ve included a couple of items from the people he touched: Roland was a miner who broke his back in a work accident some years ago. He was instrumental in IL (Independent Living) and ADAPT (American Disabled for… Read More

Roland Sykes

September 20, 2018 Sue Rorke

Max Starkloff passed away December 27, 2010. Amy Leavitt wrote an obituary for the Riverfront Times honoring his life and achievements. He will be greatly missed, especially by the Independent Living community. Max Starkloff resided in St. Louis since his birth in 1937. When he was 21 years old, Max was involved in a disabling… Read More

Max Starkloff

September 17, 2018 Sue Rorke

Liz Savage and Pat Wright are considered the “mothers of the ADA.” They led the consumer fight for the passage of the ADA. Ms. Savage is an Attorney-Advisor in the Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section where she focuses on developing technical assistance materials for the Section’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) technical assistance program.… Read More

Liz Savage

September 17, 2018 Sue Rorke

Ed Roberts, a Berkeley quadriplegic who began the disability rights movement 40 years ago, now has his own California day. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill in July, 2010, creating Ed Roberts Day, encouraging schools and other institutions to educate the public about the disability-rights pioneer every year on his birthday, Jan. 23. Ed Roberts… Read More

Ed Roberts

September 17, 2018 Sue Rorke

Paul Longmore passed away on August 9, 2010 at the age of 64. He was a leading disability scholar and activist. Valerie J. Nelson of the LA Times writes “Unable to use his hands because of a childhood bout with polio, Paul K. Longmore wrote his first book by punching a keyboard with a pen… Read More

Paul Longmore

September 17, 2018 Sue Rorke

Evan Kemp was a key link for the disability community to George Bush and his administration during the 1980s and the ADA deliberations. During the 1970s, as a Washington attorney, Kemp struck a close friendship with (and found a long-time bridge partner in) C. Boyden Gray, Bush’s Chief Counsel. Kemp’s friendship was indispensable to Gray… Read More

Evan Kemp

September 17, 2018 Sue Rorke

Harriet McBryde Johnson was born in 1957 in eastern North Carolina and lived most of her life in Charleston, South Carolina. She passed away in 2008.She attended self-contained special-education classes until age 13, when she was invited to leave because she was campaigning to get the teacher fired. At that time, there was no right… Read More

Harriet McBryde Johnson

September 17, 2018 Sue Rorke

After contracting polio at the age of 18 months, in 1949, Judy Heumann faced numerous obstacles in gaining a decent education. Barred from the public school because she used a wheelchair (a “fire hazard”), Heumann relied on home instruction and then finally attended a segregated school for people with disabilities. She began organizing her fellow… Read More

Judy Heumann