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The Winged Gargoyle Award

This award recognizes a lifetime of work on behalf of the social interests of people with disabilities.

2004: Dr. Henry Betts

2003: Stuart Ferst has worked in the field of disability rights for over 40 years, since 1983 as President and CEO of Anixter Center. His leadership and vision have shaped the organization that continues to grow in depth, expertise and breadth of services. The mission of Anixter Center, formerly The Center for the Rehabilitation and Training of Persons with Disabilities, is to help people with disabilities live and work successfully in the community. He was nominated by Betsy Storm, Director of Public Relations at Anixter Center.

2002: Wendy Meltzer, of IL Citizens for Better Care, advocacy agency for better care in nursing homes, for Lifetime Achievements in Advocacy. Nominated by Ann Hilton Fisher, Executive Director of the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (and a former Gargoyle recipient), Wendy has provided advocacy and legal services to the indigent and disenfranchised for over 26 years. For more than ten years, Wendy Meltzer has been Illinois' only full-time independent advocate for the rights of nursing home residents -- and with remarkable success.

2001: Larry Gorski, the late Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Larry Gorskiís sister, in receiving his posthumous Gargoyle, offered his favorite quote: "You canít just sit on the outside and bitch. If you donít like something, by God, go in and change it!"

2000: The Hon. Arthur Berman.

1998: Paul Scher, for his example as a role model for people with disabilities and for his availability to people with disabilities for advice and as a mentor.

1997: Diane Coleman, JD, for her commitment to the disability rights movement throughout her life. Now a resident of the Chicago area, moved from Tennessee in 1996 to assume the position of Executive Director of Progress Center for Independent Living of Cook County (PCIL). For over 12 years she has been a nationally recognized leader and organizer in ADAPT; she became a major player nationally and in southern California and Tennessee where she helped spread the word about ADAPT's attendant care issues. Her success in organizing a rural populace is evident now from the large Tennessee contingents at national ADAPT rallies. Diane's skills at analysis and organizing are now evident in Not Dead Yet, an advocacy organization devoted to preventing the assisted-suicide issue from ever taking root and to alarming the public of its endangerment to people with disabilities. Additionally, Diane has "steered PCIL through the murky uncertain waters of state, national and ILC politics toward a much firmer fiscal position and a stronger agent to fulfill the needs of a typical PCIL client." Diane was nominated by two people: Anna Stonum of Chicago, and Fred Stark of Chicago, both of whom are vigilant members of ADAPT Chicago.

1996: Margaret Pfrommer, for her pioneering leadership as a consumer advocate in the national independent living movement. A Research Associate and Consumer Advocate at Northwestern University Rehabilitation Engineering Program in River Forest, she was the first person with physical disabilities to participate in the research, development, and application of assistive technology, and was also the first person to use a sip-and-puff motorized wheelchair. The innovative technology emancipated her from a nursing home — 23 years ago --and allowed her to live independently. She continues to be a role model for people with disabilities. Nominated by Charlotte DesJardins, Executive Director of Family Resource Center in Chicago and by Allen Goldberg MD and Marca Bristo, CEO of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago.

Council for Disability Rights

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

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