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The Gargoyle Awards

A staunch protector of innocent people against evil forces, the gargoyle was selected by CDR to symbolize the contributions of advocates to the welfare of the larger community — they are seldom noticed, never fully valued, appreciated or accepted. As protectors of buildings, gargoyles evolved from an early pagan practice modeled after an ancient warning — the custom of placing animal heads on sticks outside dwellings. Then the early Catholic fathers placed them on churches to make the indigenous population feel safer in the church. Later they often served as rainspouts, diverting water off the building.

In 1990 as we approached the tenth anniversary of our incorporation in March of 1981, we began considering how to celebrate with the community. An awards ceremony seemed an appropriate opportunity both to acknowledge individual acts of advocacy (thereby recognizing and thanking the individual) and to encourage others who might be reluctant to speak out or act on their own behalf — they too could make a difference.

In 1991, in commemoration of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and of our tenth anniversary, the victories of disability rights activists were first celebrated by honoring our effective advocates with the Gargoyle Awards.

Gargoyle winners were proposed from the community, selected by the community, and celebrated with the community of people with disabilities. Nothing about us without us! The ceremonies were an opportunity for the disability community to recognize and honor these protectors and heroes — nominated by and from our community — our thanks to these advocates.

The awards were given in six categories.

Descriptions and past winners:


Council for Disability Rights

Knowing your rights is the easy part. Exercising them can be a bit trickier.

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