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Cass Irvin, Louisville, Ky. (1945- ): She is a disability rights advocate and author who lobbied the 1984 General Assembly to create the Personal Care Attendant Program for people with disabilities. Ms. Irvin frequently drove her wheelchair a quarter of a mile through rain, snow and cold, in order to take a van to travel from Louisville to Frankfort, to fight for passage of the law. She earned a teaching degree in 1969, but encountered discrimination in public schools that refused to let someone in a wheelchair become a student teacher. She earned a master's degree from the University of Louisville in the early 1970s, but found that the college had numerous obstacles, including no automatic doors, and inaccessible classrooms and buildings. She became a board member of the Action League of Physically Handicapped Adults (ALPHA) in 1976, and has been fighting for better access and treatment for people with disabilities ever since. She has served as a member of the Kentucky Arts Council Standing Civil Rights Advisory Committee.
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