The Community Health Law Project (CHLP) presented Advancing Opportunities, Inc., with the fifth annual Mike Lione Accessibility Award on Thursday, October 25, during the Ann Klein Advocate Awards event at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ.
Mike Lione was an engineer by trade and served for many years as a member of the CHLP’s Board of Trustees. Lione, who used a wheelchair, was also a basketball enthusiast. His love of the sport began in high school and he nurtured it as a player, coach, and team manager until he passed away in 2013. Each year since then, CHLP has presented an award in his honor to an individual or entity performing exemplary work as an advocate for accessibility on behalf of people living with disabilities.
“As an organization dedicated to removing barriers people with disabilities face, we are honored to be recognized with an award focused on accessibility. In his role as an engineer and an executive with Verizon, Mike Lione was instrumental in advancing the technologies that help make telephone communication accessible for people with hearing impairments,” said Mudge. “He was also an advocate and champion for athletes in wheelchairs. He created countless opportunities for wheelchair athletes to compete, learn and grow in the sport of basketball.His passion was basketball. His understanding of the game made him a valuable mentor to players with and without wheels.”
The Ann Klein honorees who received awards were: Linda Gochfeld, M.D., Psychiatrist; Lisa McCauley Parles, a Partner with Parles Rekem LLP; Dean Pastras, Executive Director of Bergen’s Promise; and Cory Storch, President & CEO of Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services.
CHLP provides about 5,000 people with disabilities with legal representation and counseling. CHPL’s services are provided free of charge to residents of New Jersey on a full range of civil law matters, including Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits, welfare, housing, family law, and architectural barriers.