October 9, 2022
It is with great sorrow that we are sharing the news of MWCIL’s Executive Director, Paul Spooner, passing away unexpectedly on Saturday, October 8. We have not yet processed this, other than we miss him already.
Most people in the disability community have interacted with Paul, and even more have benefited from his advocacy for disability services and rights. Paul quickly switched from in-person to zoom when COVID-19 hit and stayed just as effective in fighting for legislative action. He fought for a seat at the tables where his astute vision, attention to detail and careful strategic ideas led to many successes in improving the lives of people with disabilities.
Paul was especially focused on the Independent Living philosophy, where people with disabilities are the experts on their own needs. His work on the PCA (Personal Care Attendants) Workforce Council spanned many years. Thanks to Paul’s advocacy, people with disabilities in Massachusetts continue to be in charge of their own care. He was also very supportive of PCAs’ rights and benefits.
Early on, Paul recognized the importance of technology and the dangers of people with disabilities being left behind. He brought computing to NCIL (National Council on Independent Living) many years ago, and MWCIL was one of the first CIL’s to hold computer classes.
As recently as September, Paul was an important champion for the successful expansion of the CommonHealth Program.
Paul’s death is a huge loss for all people with disabilities, especially in Massachusetts.
And we extend our deep condolences to his partner, Wini, his family, his friends and his colleagues. We will miss his humor, his passion for living a free life and his dedication to civil rights for everyone.
Memorial arrangements are incomplete at this time.