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Newsmaker: Judy Barricella

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By Tim Puko
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

Age: 63

Residence: Shaler

Family: Sons, Anthony, 23, and Jesse, 18

Occupation: Director, Allegheny County's Disability Connection, a county Human Services program that helps people with disabilities

Education: She graduated with a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. She earned her master's degree in speech therapy from the University of South Florida in 1976.

Background: She started her career as a speech therapist but went on to help found the Three Rivers Center for Independent Living in 1980 and serve as its first executive director. After eight years, she left to start her own consulting company, Commonwealth Mentor Group. She started working for Allegheny County in 2000.

Noteworthy: Three Rivers Center for Independent Living is giving Barricella its Ruth and George Brenyo Achievement Award. The annual award recognizes a person with a disability who has helped the independent-living movement and served as a role model for others with disabilities who want to live independently. Barricella had polio as a child.

Quote: "There's just so much to do to get people to be aware of how people with disabilities are left out. ... I can get on any bus now, and I couldn't ride a bus until I was in my 40s. That was important. Now it's accessible playgrounds and shelters -- just so that we have accessible places."



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