Staff Attorney, Minnesota Disability Law Center
While this year’s Olympics caught the attention of most of the viewing public, it was what came afterward in London — the Paralympic Games — that mattered most to Justin Page.
That’s because a former client, Rose Hollerman, competed on the U.S. women’s basketball team.
Hollerman, 16, has a spinal-cord injury and uses a wheelchair. She’s also an extremely gifted athlete, who came to the Minnesota Disability Law Center when the Minnesota High School League put unnecessary restrictions upon her competing in track and field.
With Page as her advocate, she sued the league in state court. The February 2012 settlement ultimately allowed her more full participation, including mixed racing contemporaneous to the nondisabled athletes, the ability to score points for her team, and opening up some events from which she’d been excluded.
That victory came on the heels of representing Mark Hughes in charges against Greyhound Lines Inc. before the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
The company typically provides wheelchair-accessible buses when given 24 hours’ notice. But when Hughes gave a much lengthier notice, the company nonetheless denied him access, refunding his fare but refusing to accommodate him.
After a December 2011 probable-cause discrimination finding, the case settled with the company agreeing to provide training on accessible buses to its Minnesota employees, in addition to damages and fees for Hughes.
After completing his bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin in 1997, Page worked as a legislative staffer for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone in Washington, D.C., for two years.
Page then attended law school, and was clerking for Judge Pamela Alexander when a job opening at the Disability Law Center caught his eye. He’s disabled himself — but also, Page has always been drawn toward public-interest work.
“My parents always taught me, through their parenting and their work, about the importance of giving back. So I’ve always had the notion of giving back in the work that I do.”