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ABA honors work for disability rights

The ABA Commission on Disability Rights will present awards that recognize an individual and a law firm for exemplary work in disability rights and disability inclusion in the legal profession at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco on August 12. 

ABA Commission on Disability Rights will present these awards at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco

ABA Commission on Disability Rights will present these awards at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco

The awardees are:

  • Matthew W. Dietz, founding member and current litigation director for Disability Independence Group, Inc., in Miami, will receive the Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights. This award honors the work of Paul G. Hearne, a lawyer with congenital connective tissue disorder who was a leader in the disability rights movement.  Dietz was selected for fostering the inclusion of lawyers with disabilities in the legal profession and ensuring that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against based on their disabilities.
  • Sidley Austin LLP will receive the Champions for Disability Inclusion in the Legal Profession Award, which recognizes a law firm or corporation that has made measurable progress in the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement to leadership positions of individuals with disabilities. By building relationships with affinity groups, Sidley has been able to recruit more students with disabilities to its summer associate program. In 2018, 17 Sidley associates self-identified as having a disability. These associates are enrolled in the firm’s Diversity Mentoring Program, which pairs all diverse associates with leading partners in their practice, with the goals of building skills, developing strong relationships with partners and clients and fully integrating into their practice groups.

“These honorees demonstrate a deep commitment to the principle that people with disabilities are entitled to full and equal access to all aspects of society,” said Robert T. Gonzales, chair of the Commission on Disability Rights, which presents the two awards. “Their efforts to insure the inclusion of person with disabilities in the legal profession sets the example for others to emulate.”

The awards will be presented at the commission’s Reception for Lawyers with Disabilities on Monday, Aug. 12, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

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