The American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights selected Donovan W. Frank, federal judge for the District of Minnesota, to receive its 2012 Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights.
The commission says Frank has spent his legal career advocating for the rights of persons with developmental disabilities to equal opportunities, equal justice under the law, and equal access, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
Created in 1999, the Hearne Award honors the work of Paul G. Hearne, a lawyer born with connective tissue disorder who became a leader in the disability rights movement. The award will be presented to Frank next month at the commission’s annual meeting in Chicago.
Frank has long served as co-chair of the diversity committee of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and works closely with the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. About 20 employees at his courthouse have some type of developmental disability. He also educates legal professionals about disability discrimination and the right to equal justice for persons with disabilities who are the victims of crimes.
He has received the Luther Granquist Systems Change Award from the Arc Minnesota for making life better for individuals with disabilities and has served on the Board of Directors of the Range Mental Health Center Inc. and the East Range Developmental Achievement Center.
More information about the Paul G. Hearne Award can be found here.