Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights Bestowed on Dr. Marc Maurer and Daniel Goldstein
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2011 – Dr. Marc Maurer and Daniel Goldstein have been selected to receive the 2011 American Bar Association Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights. Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, and Goldstein, a partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, have served and advocated for the disability community for more than 25 years.
Created in 1999 by the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law, the Hearne Award honors the work of Paul G. Hearne, a lawyer born with connective tissue disorder who became a leader in the disability rights movement. The award is sponsored by Starbucks Coffee Company, and will be presented Aug. 8 at the ABA Annual Meeting’s Reception for Lawyers with Disabilities in Toronto.
As president of the NFB since 1986, Maurer has overseen the expansion of the National Center of the Blind to include the Jernigan Institute, where researchers build products “by the blind for the blind.” He previously served as president of the National Association of Blind Lawyers, the NFB of Maryland, and the World Blind Union North America/Caribbean Region. Goldstein is one of the country’s top disability rights litigators, having most recently represented Stephanie Enyart, a low-vision law school graduate, in her suit against the National Conference of Bar Examiners for failure to provide her proper accommodations to take the California Bar Exam.
In addition to their individual accomplishments, Maurer and Goldstein have collaborated to make technology more accessible to blind and low-vision individuals. By initiating a national legal campaign to encourage technology manufacturers to design accessible products, and by bringing lawsuits against those who refused to do so, Maurer and Goldstein have made ATM machines, cellphones, iPods and e-books more accessible. Their efforts have resulted in settlement agreements and collaborative partnerships with ATM-manufacturer Cardtronics, Target.com, Apple Inc. and its iTunes program, America Online and voting machine manufacturers. Both also played roles in creating the Disability Rights Bar Association, the first-ever plaintiff-side organization comprised of attorneys representing individuals with disabilities.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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