2022 Inductees

The Disability Rights Hall of Fame Selection Committee and NYSILC Board of Directors were honored to recognize five inductees to the 2022 NYS Disability Rights Hall of Fame, Thursday, May 12th, 2022.  The following people have been outstanding leaders and advocates for people with disabilities in New York State, and beyond. 

sally johnstonSally Johnston’s accomplishments are many, but it was her advancement of Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) that stands out the most. In the early 1990s, Sally persuaded a contingent from Syracuse, including the Onondaga County executive and others from the Local Department of Social Services, to visit New York City and examine this new model of community-based support. Together they worked to bring a demonstration program to Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Judy Headshot 1Judy Heumann is a lifelong advocate for the rights of disabled people. She contracted polio in 1949 in Brooklyn, New York and began to use a wheelchair for her mobility. She was denied the right to attend school because she was considered a "fire hazard" at the age of five. Her parents played a strong role in fighting for her rights as a child, but Judy soon determined that she, working in collaboration with other disabled people, had to play an advocacy role due to continuous discrimination. She is now an internationally recognized leader in the disability rights community.

Susan DoohaSusan Dooha was the executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY) for nearly 20 years, retiring in July 2021. During her tenure at CIDNY she helped to increase the center’s budget from $1 million to $8 million, greatly expanding the services provided to people with disabilities throughout New York City.

Janice Lintz 1

Janice Lintz does not take no for an answer. She is the number one advocate in the world for people with hearing loss. When her daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 2.5, doctors recommended special schools. Janice refused to go down that road. She made it her life’s mission to accommodate the world to her daughter, instead of having her daughter accommodate herself to the hearing world.

Bernard Carabello

Bernard Carabello has been a tireless advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities within the state of New York and beyond since 1972.

Born with cerebral palsy but misdiagnosed as having an intellectual disability, Bernard was sent to the Willowbrook State School for Children on Staten Island at age 3 by his mother, a single parent of six children, on the recommendation of doctors. He spent the next 18 years of his life in this notorious institution, described by Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1965 as a “snake pit,” where residents were routinely abused, neglected, subjected to squalid living conditions and denied educational opportunities.