Donald Galloway

Donald Galloway, advocate of rights of disabled, dies at 73
By Adam Bernstein, Published: November 1
Donald Galloway, 73, a civil rights advocate for minorities with disabilities who won a lawsuit against the D.C. government for the right of the blind to serve on juries, died Oct. 3 in a hospice in Santa Barbara, California. He had metastatic prostate cancer, said his wife, June Galloway. The Galloways lived in the District and were visiting family in California when Donald Galloway died.

Mr. Galloway, who had been legally blind since an accident in childhood, had an eclectic career. He was a folk singer as a young man, earned a master's degree in social work, and, in 1978, became the Peace Corps's country director in Jamaica.

He retired in 2009 from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs as program coordinator for the American With Disabilities Act. He joined that department after serving from 1987 to 1998 as manager of the disability affairs branch of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development.

In 1991, he showed up at D.C. Superior Court after receiving a summons to serve on a jury and said he was turned away when he arrived with a guide dog. He was told a blind person would be unable to observe the demeanor of witnesses and read through troves of evidence, if required. He sued the District government. "I don't have to see a gun," Mr. Galloway said at the time. "I could feel the gun or have someone describe it to me. They are making the assumption that I can't perceive or make judgments."

In 1993, U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green ruled that blind people could not be automatically excluded from a jury. She said exceptions could be made on an individual basis, especially involving cases where jurors must evaluate loads of documents.

Donald Galloway was born March 21, 1938, in Washington and raised in Annapolis. At 13, he was injured in one eye with a bow and arrow while playing. Because of improper treatment, his wife said, nerve damage affected the other eye and led to complete blindness by age 16. He attended the Maryland School for the Blind and completed high school in Los Angeles, where his family moved. He was a 1967 graduate of California State University at Los Angeles and in 1969 received a master's degree in social work from California State University at San Diego.

In the mid-1970s, Mr. Galloway worked in Berkeley, Calif., as director of peer counseling at the Center for Independent Living, which encouraged self-sufficiency among the disabled. He later was executive director of the Governor's Council on the Handicapped in Denver, followed by an appointment from 1978 to 1980 as Peace Corps director in Jamaica. His wife said he was the first blind country director, but a Peace Corps spokeswoman said she could not confirm that from the organization's records.

Mr. Galloway was subsequently turned down for an administrative job with the Foreign Service because of his blindness. He sued and reached a financial settlement with the government, his wife said. He went on to direct the Center for Independent Living in Washington. Mr. Galloway served in leadership roles on many commissions and panels on disability rights. As a volunteer, he had spent the last 15 years as president of the National Federation of the Blind's Washington affiliate.

His first marriage, to Julia Townes, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 45 years, June Williams Galloway of Washington; a son from his first marriage, Kevin Galloway of San Marino, Calif.; two children from his second marriage, Makini Galloway of Maui, Hawaii, and Ade Galloway of Philadelphia; two sisters; four brothers; and six grandchildren.

Laura E. Williams, 1945-2011

Photo of Laura Williams Disability Community Mourns the Loss of Laura Williams
Laura Elaine Williams, a stalwart advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, July 6th 2011. She was just 65. Ms. Williams was known and respected for her work on behalf of people with disabilities and seniors, including the state's compliance of the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead Decision and passage of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. She was a constant voice and visible presence at State Capitol hearings and meetings on issues including In-Home Supportive Services, developmental services, access to public accommodations for children and adults with disabilities, mental health needs, and issues involving seniors. Most recently, Laura participated at the Olmstead Advisory Committee in April, offering many comments regarding the need for the state to move aggressively toward full compliance of the landmark decision.

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From Susan Chandler:
I know that she was a fierce believer in people's civil rights and once she made up her mind it was very hard (read impossible) to change it. Her daughter told me that the picture they used for their celebration of life was when Mark was 15! I thought it was when she had graduated HS!!! She said that she had been able to participate in an MS trial, getting injections for several years which really helped with her MS. They even traveled to Europe, and she could walk all over. Then when they discontinued them almost overnight she became aged overnight.

She was an intelligent person and loved to calculate things (she did this at her job before) like membership numbers. That is why we kept going; she would say if we got all the members to renew we would have the money we needed to operate! She was right, when we got high renewal rates we had enough income! She slowly took on way too much and the organization suffered as a result. She was fond of the "Heritage" members she knew of and wouldn't take them off the membership list even when they were way past due on paying their dues.

She was very frugal and took the Amtrak train and bus from Glendora and back to Sacramento many times. This took a long time and she stayed at the Sacramento Hostel which was the cheapest way to go, but she enjoyed it. When I lived in West Sacramento, she sometimes came and stayed with me using the bus to get back and forth.

We even got the city of W. Sac to change the push button location at the light for the crossing. She also liked to cook and made lovely Mexican food she had learned from her mother-in-law for my family and a Chapter 22 meeting we had. At the Sac rally in 2006 she wanted to dress up as a witch, but HolLynn who had organized it said she didn't want to give them any ideas and vilify us even more! She had a playful sense about her sometimes.

Fred Fay

An accomplished gymnast as a youth, Fred fell from a trapeze when he was 16 and lost the use of his legs. After a rough period of adjustment he built up muscles in his arms so that he could fold up his wheelchair, get into a car and drive. At home in D.C. Fred found "every single curb was like a Berlin Wall telling me that I was not welcome to travel farther than a block."

At 17, he launched a disability advocacy career by co-founding Opening Doors, a counseling and information center in Washington, D.C. In 1963, Fred and his mother founded the Washington Architectural Barriers Project, which led the drive to make the D.C. subway system accessible to all.

When President Johnson invited Fred to the Rose Garden for the signing of the Urban Mass Transportation Act in 1964, his wheelchair had to be bumped up the steps. The White House was not accessible.

He received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois, which at that time was the most accessible to wheelchairs. He determined that, not only would he live a full life, but others with mobility impairments would also.

Fred, a psychologist, worked for many years at Tufts New England Medical Center, until syringomyelia made it impossible for him to sit upright. As this condition progressed his ability to move his head and arms became limited and Fred's home became a sci-fi wonder. An electronic workstation with computer screen was suspended over his bed, large mirrors covered the wall and ceiling. Ramps made it possible for him to enjoy the fresh air in his yard, and his motorized wheel-bed took him to his neighbor's cookouts.

He was a pioneer in the development of assistive technology and his innovations have made the world more accessible to people with limited mobility.

He was a disability policy advisor to the administration and congress. Fred worked on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, a law ensuring a free, appropriate, public education to children with disabilities throughout the nation.

While recognition and awards kept piling up, Fred was active across the country ensuring equal rights for all people. Until he slowed down a few years ago, he lived on California time, the better to communicate with colleagues across the country.

In 1994, when Senator Kennedy was running for re-election, Kennedy's nephew Michael, his field coordinator Lynda Tocci, and I worked the crowds at the Patriots' Day parade, while the senator enjoyed coffee and a muffin with Fred.

Remember life before the Americans with Disabilities Act? If you were in a wheelchair or had any mobility issues, public places did not welcome you. You have Fred and his colleagues to thank for your ability to enter buildings. You have them to thank for the equal treatment of your child with a disability. Fred helped make the U.S. a better place for all of us.

Fred's life is one of several being featured in a PBS documentary by Storyline Motion Pictures scheduled to be shown Oct. 27 on Independent Lens. Bedford's Elmer Bartels, former commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, helped fund the project. You can check out Fred's part on Youtube: Lives Worth Living, and with some scrolling find Elmer and Fred in conversation. Filmmaker Eric Neudel and associate producer Alison Gilkey have been working for years on the documentary. We all regret that Fred will not be on Main Street watching it.

Harley Rubenstein

Harley Rubenstein died on June 20, 2011, followed shortly by the death of CDR's State President, Laura Williams. These two dedicated people worked tirelessly for the disability community.

Harley was a vibrant teenager, a member of the National Honors Society and an Eagle Scout. As a teenager he had 2 golf ball sized tumors removed from his head leaving him in a coma for 5 months. Upon awakening he was paralyzed from the waist down. This did not stop Harley! After rehab, Harley went to CSULB and graduated with his Bachelor's degree in American Studies/Business. Thus began his career at the Betty Clooney Disabled Resource Foundation helping people with brain injuries navigate through job placement and government services prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Harley was appointed to the Los Angeles Commission for Persons with Disabilities serving as Vice President. Transportation was a very important issue to Harley who served on the Access Services Community Advisory Committee. He was also the Vice Chair for the Metro Gateway Cities Service; working to provide efficient and effective transportation for Los Angeles County.

Harley is survived by his wife of 25 years, Susan and their two children, Jacob and Ruth. His Memorial Service was held on Saturday, June 25, 2011. In attendance were family and friends as well as many community members from the Disabled Resources Center, Access Services, Long Beach Transit, Metro, L.A. County and the City of Long Beach.

Harley you were a great friend and advocate, you will be missed.

Nancy K. Seyden, 1947-2011

Photo of Nancy Seyden Nancy Kathleen Seyden died on January 22, at the age of 63 at Sutter Davis Hospital following respiratory failure. She was born to Walter and Anne Seyden on July 21, 1947 in San Francisco and grew up with her little sister Phyllis in Pleasant Hill, where their parents had settled after the Second World War. Nancy was twelve years old when she was diagnosed with a Guillian-Barre neuromuscular condition following a polio vaccine. The illness terminated Nancy's dream of becoming a ballet dancer and forever changed the life of her family.

Nancy spent her formative years in an iron lung at the county hospital in Martinez, California. She arrived on the UC Davis campus in 1967 as a freshman after some trepidation from officials at the University. This was understandable considering that Nancy appeared in a large power wheelchair with ventilator machines. Because the campus was not prepared to deal with the needs of disabled students, Nancy was housed in a room on the first floor of the Student Health Center, where medical staff could keep an eye on her.

In the face of formidable obstacles, both physical and social, Nancy was determined to succeed and graduated with her Bachelor's degree in 1972. She went on to earn a Master's degree in Human Development in 1975. Shortly thereafter, Joel Bryan, a renowned activist in the Independent Living movement, recruited her to the UC Davis Services to Handicapped Students (later called the Disability Resource Center) that was developed under his leadership. Joel became her lifelong mentor and friend. Nancy made significant contributions to the campus and through her counseling and support, encouraged and empowered hundreds of students with disabilities throughout the years. Nancy left the Disability Resource Center in 1993 after it shifted its focus from student empowerment to compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations. Despite this disappointment, Nancy never lost her passion to help students with disabilities attain their academic and personal goals.

Shortly after leaving the Disability Resource Center, Nancy joined a nationally funded Research and Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases at the UC Davis Medical School. She worked there for several grant periods, focusing on quality of life issues and rehabilitation and gave occasional lectures to students at the Medical School. Her main effort was "focus group" interviews of the life cycles of persons with neuromuscular conditions. Ultimately, she collaborated with the California Department of Rehabilitation on employment issues for people with disabilities.

Nancy was a tireless advocate for persons with disabilities and was involved in myriad organizations at the University and in the community: Nancy was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Resources for Independent Living Center in Sacramento (serves Yolo County); she developed training videos and lectures for the Yolo In-Home Support Services program and the UC Davis Medical School; she was a member of the committees for ADA Compliance and Human Relations, City of Davis; she served as president of the Yolano Chapter of Californians For Disability Rights; she was a founding member of the UC Davis Forum on Disability Issues; she was chair of the Yolo In-Home-Supportive Services and Public Authority Advisory Committee; she was the founding vice-president for the statewide California In-Home Support Services Consumer Alliance (CICA).

Despite her full-time work schedule and committee involvement, Nancy still found time to travel extensively throughout the western United States, from New Mexico to Canada. Her long road trips were legendary and her orange (and later white) van was seen in the strangest places, exploring the small and big wonders of the world. She had a deep interest of all living creatures and in nature and could never give up reaching that rare overview or that elusive bird, out there - far away. She also found the time to attend the annual Sacramento Jazz Jubilee where Dixieland and Zydeco were her all-time favorites.

It may be easy to overlook the fact that Nancy's life was a constant struggle to stay aloft. She acutely felt that she was being financially penalized for being disabled, for working, for being married, and for retiring. She saw the root of the problem in the fact that in order to obtain state support to fill her care needs, she and her husband were forced to live well below the poverty line. She struggled for years to right this injustice and to improve the state In-Home Support Services. She did not live to see the latest onslaught on these essential services for people who are in the most need for support.

Nancy retired in 2008 after over 30 years with the University, determined fully to devote her life to her pets, garden, reading, and her husband of many years. She rediscovered the knitting passion of her youth and gained many new friends through her interests and volunteer work, which included Yolo Reads, and Yolo Basin Foundation. Nancy was an education docent for Yolo Basin Foundation and volunteered countless hours teaching visiting school kids.

Nancy left a lasting impression on the people she met and interacted with. She and her husband were an inspiring presence in the Davis community for more than two decades. Nancy's loss will leave a void in the lives of all who knew her and appreciated her boundless energy, eternal optimism, patience and kindness and especially, her wicked sense of humor. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, colleagues, and caregivers, many of whom are scattered around the country but always kept in touch.

Donations in Nancy's memory can be made to the Yolo Basin Foundation, P.O. Box 943, Davis, CA 95617. The funds will be used to improve accessibility at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, which Nancy loved so much.

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"Nancy Seyden, Longtime Disability Rights Advocate In Yolo County and Across State Passes Away"
Death Follows Death of George Moore, Disability Rights Advocate, also of Yolo County - Seyden Was On IHSS Advisory Committee - Passing of Both Respected Advocates Comes As California Observes the First "Ed Roberts Day"
SACRAMENTO, CALIF (CDCAN) [Updated 01/23/2011 04:25 PM (Pacific Time)

Nancy Seyden of Davis, a longtime and beloved advocate for disabilities and senior rights in Yolo County and across the State, died Saturday (January 22) on the eve of the observance of California's first "Ed Roberts Day" January 23rd. Her death follows the passing of another widely respected major disability rights advocate in Yolo County, George Moore, who passed away last week.

Seyden was serving as chair of the Yolo County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Advisory Committee and fought hard over the years against the cuts by various governors to the IHSS program and other critical services that impact the rights of people with disabilities, mental health needs and seniors.

There were no details available on the cause of Seyden's death or announcement of services (CDCAN will report any information as soon as it becomes available).

Laura Williams, statewide president of Californians for Disability Rights (CDR) which both Seyden and Moore were longtime members of, expressed deep sadness saying that the State has "lost two lions of advocacy this last week."

Seyden Original Member of Yolo County IHSS Advisory Committee -
Seyden served on the Yolo County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Advisory Committee since it was established in 2001, and worked before that and since then as advocate on a wide range of disability rights issues.

She served previously as a longtime board member of the Sacramento based independent living center, Resources for Independent Living (RIL), headed by Executive Director Frances Gracechild, who mourned the loss of Seyden. Seyden also served as a counselor and outreach resource for the Disability Resource Center at UC Davis, and as a member of the Davis Human Rights Commission.

Seyden was often a speaker and presenter at many events, including on January 27, 2002, on "Pulse:, UC Davis Medical Center's Emmy award-winning health magazine show that had a segment titled "Living with Neuromuscular Disease: Quality of Life". Seyden attracted attention of the Pulse staff with her presentation to UC medical students entitled "Wellness in the Context of Disability: Enhancing Physicians' Knowledge About Those Who Live With Disabilities". For the 2002 Pulse segment, some home videos of Nancy's wedding, bird watching in a nature preserve, and shopping at a Farmer's Market were utilized to illustrate her high quality of life as a woman with a significant disabilities.

Seyden, who was also president of the Yolo County chapter of Californians for Disability Rights (CDR), and who was highlighted in an article the organization's recent statewide newsletter this past year titled "You've Come A Long Way, Nancy":
"When she was twelve years old, Nancy Seyden contracted Guillen-Barre Syndrome. From lack of coordination during her trick diving routine and having to gasp for air too quickly, in six months the symptoms advanced to lack of speech control, blurred vision, inability to get up after falling or to dress and groom herself.

Diagnosed first as Myasthenia Gravis, she was sent to the hospital for observation. The appalling loss of lung capacity made the Syndrome evident to the doctors, within two months Nancy was totally paralyzed. Unable to breathe, unable to speak, she was put in an iron lung. "I was so paralyzed I couldn't even smile" she says.

She had only left some control of her lips and her eyelids, which she used as her only way of communication. The nurses will say the alphabet slowly and Nancy will blink her eyes or stretch one corner of her lips (whichever was easier to do that day) at the letters that spelled what she wanted.

Nancy was in this condition for three years, after which her voice started coming back and her facial muscles loosened. Later her hands and arms recovered some movement.

From the Iron Lung and Rocking Bed she was changed to portable respirators on a wheelchair, both of which she uses to this date. Nancy was in the hospital for eight years, day after day, to a heaping two thousand, nine hundred and twenty days, except for those weekends when she went home.

In the hospital she had a home teacher. When Nancy left the hospital, a young woman of 19, she attended junior college and then went on ti the University of California at Davis. There she lived in the Health Center on campus.

Nancy continued to advocate for persons with disabilities, her latest project being the emergency battery back-up system her chapter devised with the local Fire Station.

The Yolano Chapter [of Californians for Disability Rights], under Nancy's leadership, donated the seed money for the first batteries to be held at the Fire Station, and made available during power outages for persons needing power for life saving equipment. Nancy lead this project after a several day power outage in her home town led to a hospitalization to stay alive."

George L. Moore, 1927-2011

Photo of George Moore George L. Moore died on Wednesday morning, January 19, aged 83. Born in Atlanta, GA on March 2, 1927, he contracted polio at age 3. He was taken to the Roosevelt Foundation at Warm Springs, GA, where he spent the next ten years. He learned to walk with braces and crutches, and did so until twenty years ago.

After high school in Sarasota, FL, he attended Rollins College for one year and then transferred to Stanford. He studied English with Wallace Stegner and Ian Richards, and took his MA in education.

He was the first teacher in the San Francisco public schools to use crutches; he was told he couldn't teach if he couldn't walk unaided, but Joseph Alioto, later mayor, was on the school board and overruled the administration. He taught in several inner-city junior high schools, and in 1964 was transferred to Lowell High School, the high-ranking academic school where he taught English and film for 19 years. A number of his students went on to work in film and radio. And none of them failed the composition test at UC.

His wife Diane, a Lowell graduate, found herself back at Lowell in 1965 as a student teacher. She and George were married the next year. George and Diane opened a secondhand bookstore in the Haight-Ashbury, called Charing Cross Road, where George worked both before and after his retirement from teaching.

During these years he was an official in the American Federation of Teachers, acting as treasurer for years and manning the office and acting as spokesperson during strikes. He was also active in the California Association of the Physically Handicapped, now Californians for Disability Rights, and was instrumental in making the San Francisco Municipal Railway wheelchair accessible.

George and Diane moved to Davis in 1986. George continued to be active on the State Council of Californians for Disability Rights, and on ADA and accessible housing committees in Davis and Yolo County. He was on the Safety Advisory Commission for several years and served as its chair, and he was on the Grand Jury for one year.

In recent years he has been a programmer and scheduler for KDRT radio in Davis. He had worked in radio in high school and college, and did not go into it as a career only because he graduated just when the war correspondents were coming back from World War II and there were no jobs in San Francisco, where he wanted to live. He was delighted to get back into radio in his old age.

George is survived by his wife Diane and his children Harlan Moore, Stuart Moore, Lisa Moore, Margaret Auer, and Julia Moore. He has three grandchildren, Jeffery Moore, Justine Hall, and Renee Emerton, and a large extended family.