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The Hooded Gargoyle Award (The Brian Hall Award)

This award honors a professional person under 40 for services on behalf of people with disabilities.

2004: Midwest Center for Law and the Deaf

2003: Laura Serinsky changes lives for the better through her advocacy work. As Advocacy Counselor and Case Manager at the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, Laura works at the systemic level to bring the voices of people with epilepsy to the ears of their elected representatives at all levels of government. She also works closely with other disability advocates to find solutions to issues that impact people with many different types of disabilities. Her work with the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities' evacuation committee is but one example of working in coalition for the benefit of many. But, according to her supervisors, who also supervised Brian Hall, her finest work is with each individual client; "she always gives her heart, soul and significant skills to the issue at hand." Laura confronts injustices, as did Brian Hall, by asking "Why?" and approaches solutions to recognized problems by forming coalitions and asking "Why not?" Laura has earned the respect of her clients and peers throughout the disability community and, according to her supervisors, "If we can be sure of anything in life, we are sure Mr Hall would second Ms Serinsky's nomination for this much deserved recognition of her work." Laura was nominated by Philip M Gattone, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation, and James Davies, Director of Client Services at the Epilepsy Foundation and a Razzberry Gargoyle recipient in 1993.

2002: Robin Jones, of Great Lakes ADA Center, for her advocacy as a young professional. Nominated by Patrick Hughes, President of Inclusion Solutions, Robin Jones is the founding Director of the Great Lakes ADA and Accessible Information Technology Center, housed at UIC; it is one of ten regional Centers established by the US Dept. of Education's National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR) to provide information and technical assistance regarding the ADA. "Robin Jones is an advocate who uses common sense to solve problems. She doesn't mind telling you when you are wrong, but she supports you when she feels you are right. She is a person you can call and you know that the answer will work."

2001: Monica Heffner of Access Living, for her advocacy achievements.

2000: Carrie Foster, for her advocacy achievements.

1998: Tekki Lomnicki, for her work in theater arts, including the founding of Tellin Tales Theater.

1997: David Hanson, for his impact in coordinating Chicago city services to assure that all construction will be accessible to people with disabilities. Hanson is Director of Architectural Services Unit for the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Because of his background in building and construction, he realized the importance of developing solutions before the building permit was issued and began working with the various City departments and agencies to determine if such an arrangement could be made. The Architectural Services Unit has worked with other City departments regarding compliance with the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehab Act of 1973; offered technical compliance services to builders and developers; provided accessibility site audits; investigated complaints of inaccessible construction; and assisted with investigations of cases filed with the Chicago Commission of Human Relations. All Chicago Building Permit Applications must now be reviewed for compliance with the Illinois Accessibility Code, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, Fair Housing Amendments Act, and the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance. This achievement is the result of advocacy by Dave and his colleagues at MOPD where Hanson has been Director of his Unit since it was created by Larry Gorski, Special Assistant to the Mayor, in May 1992. Hanson was nominated by Kathleen Yannias, now an attorney in private practice in Oak Park, formerly with CDR's Legal Center

1996: Ginny Lazzara, Coordinator of the Brain Injury Program, and Vincent Miranti, Asst. Dir. of Psychology, both on staff at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. They are recognized for their assistance to a brain-injured client facing a charge of criminal sexual misconduct before a court that started out ignorant of the effects of the man's injury on his conduct. Over a period of 18 months they went beyond the call of clinical duty to gain for an individual patient a fair trial and a just sentence; and to give the officers of the court on all sides a general awareness and understanding of brain injury as a relevant factor they might see again and again. Ms Lazzara, a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, is responsible for policies, practices and procedures of patient admission and referral and orientation and inservice training of the clinical staff in Schwab's Brain Injury Program. She started her nursing career at Schwab eleven years ago. Both nominated by Lisa Friedman, Public Affairs Director, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital.

Council for Disability Rights

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

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