Announcing the Ever Widening Circle 2015 Awardees!

For Immediate Release

Berkeley, CA, USA–On October 15, 2015, the World Institute on Disability’s held its annual Ever Widening Circle (EWC) gala and fundraiser at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA. It was a successful celebration of disability pride and progress that brought together a wide array of disability leaders, activists, and allies to connect, honor, and learn about some of the vital members of our community.

WID was pleased to honor the Bryan Bashin from LightHouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired and Catherine Kudlick from the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability for their continued leadership in the disability world. 

WID staff, board, and awardees stand on stage together
Thomas Foley (with service dog, Alabama), Paul Schroeder, WID Executive Director Anita Aaron, Catherine Kudlick, and Bryan Bashin stand on stage together | Photos © Scot Goodman

The LightHouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired serves blind and visually impaired people around the San Francisco Bay Area, providing employment and rehabilitation services, community events, and other gatherings. It is currently celebrating its 109th year, making it one of the longest-running blind/vision-impaired organizations in the United States.

The Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, self-described as “part think tank, part cultural center,” provides broad research and community to people with and without disabilities at San Francisco State and beyond. Their programs include the “Patient No More” video-history project and the Superfest International Film Festival.

A woman leans across the table to look at the man to her right, her mouth wide open in surprise
Linda Dardarian, surprise recipient of the Disability Leadership Award, turns to WID staff member, Thomas Foley in disbelief | Photos © Scot Goodman

WID also presented a surprise award, the Disability Leadership Award, to Linda Dardarian, one of the premier disability rights attorneys in the United States. Linda has successfully pursued dozens of groundbreaking disability rights cases throughout her career. Her work has addressed fair pay, employment discrimination, disability access, and more. Some of those cases led to widely-used “talking ATMs” at major banks, the installation of accessible walk signals in San Francisco, and Braille print and alternative media formats for a number of companies. Linda continues to be a leading advocate for people with disabilities nationwide, and is planning to ensure full access and equality for years to come.

“Linda’s work has directly improved the lives of thousands of people with disabilities nationwide,” said Thomas Foley, Deputy Director of WID, “but it reaches beyond those individual cases. The precedents set by her achievements have provided benchmarks for everything from equal pay to reasonable accommodations. In the end, that impacts hundreds of thousands of Americans. We are grateful for all she’s done and excited to present her with this award.”

A woman speaks into a microphone while a man stands behind her and smiles at the crowd
Linda Dardarian accepts her award and speaks on stage beside Paul Schroeder | Photos © Scot Goodman

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