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President Clinton to be Honored by Access Living

Mon, Apr 20, 2015

111108_bill_clinton_605_apPresident Bill Clinton will be honored at Access Living’s 2015 “Lead On!” gala, which will celebrate both the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 35th anniversary of Access Living. The June 1 event will be in the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier.
Clinton will receive a “Lead On!” award from Access Living because he was the first president with the responsibility of implementing the ADA. His enforcement of the Act, in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Atty. Gen. Janet Reno, established the foundation and legal precedent that has had a transformative impact on the United States for the past 25 years.
Marca Bristo, president and CEO of Access Living, helped to draft the ADA. In 1994 President Clinton appointed her chair of the National Council on Disability.
Shirley Welsh Ryan, the chair of Pathways and a former board member of the National Council on Disability, will also be honored. For more than 30 years, she has worked for inclusion, independence and empowerment for people with disabilities.
Access Living’s “Lead On” award is a tribute to Justin Dart Jr., and honors individuals whose lives and actions embody principles he personified. Dart was an entrepreneur whose own battle with post-polio syndrome inspired him to find employment opportunities with people with disabilities. After President Reagan appointed him vice-chair of the National Council on Disability in 1981, he and others on the Council drafted national civil rights legislation for people intended to end discrimination against people with disabilities. That legislation eventually became the ADA.
Established in 1980, Access Living is committed to an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live engaged and self-directed lives. Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.
Ron Gidwitz is 2015 corporate chair of the June 1 gala. Kareem Dale is the board event chair. Tickets are $400, by calling Mimi Alschuler at 312.640.2198 or by visiting www.accessliving.org


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