Stan Rosenberg, others honored by Stavros
State Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, was honored by Stavros Center for Independent Living at its Access Awards luncheon Oct. 18 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Also receiving recognition was Butternut Farm, Chez Albert restaurant, the Lord Jeffery Inn, Attorney Alan Sharpe, Rob Eveleigh, Dr. Marjan Khodadous and Pi Beta Phi fraternity.
The awards are given annually to individuals and businesses that have provided outstanding services to the disability community of the Pioneer Valley, according to a prepared statement.
“Stan Rosenberg has been a good friend to the disability community for many years,” said Joe Tringali, director of services at Stavros.
Tringali noted that Rosenberg had played a key role in the establishment of the state’s Home Modification Loan program, which offers low-interest loans to persons with disabilities and elders who need accessibility improvements to their homes.
“Stan has also been very supportive of the rights of people with disabilities, especially when it comes to care attendants in their homes. And this year he played a vital role in securing more funding for regional transit authorities,” he said. “Without his efforts, we probably would have seen a big increase in fares for folks who use the PVTA’s paratransit service.”
Butternut Farm, the long-awaited affordable housing development on Longmeadow Drive, is important both for its access and for helping to address the shortage of accessible units for persons with disabilities, according the statement. “There’s really a crisis here in Amherst and western Massachusetts,” Tringali said. “People can’t get out of nursing homes because there aren’t enough apartments that are accessible.”
Chez Albert, at 178 North Pleasant St., moved from small quarters to a new location, making it more accessible. The Lord Jeffery Inn, 30 Boltwood Ave., has also improved its accessibility with extensive renovations.
Attorney Alan Nathanson Sharpe received a Friend of Stavros award.
“Alan Sharpe has handled all our efforts to secure new and better office space — and better services — throughout the Pioneer Valley,” Tringali said.
Rob Eveleigh of the Assistive Technologies Center at the University of Massachusetts has been making a difference on campus, Tringali said. “In a time when opportunities are increasingly defined by access to technology, Rob is making sure that no disabled students are left behind at UMass. ”
Dr. Marjan Khodadoust of Triangle Family Dental on Triangle Street was honored for her efforts to ensure adequate dental care for children with disabilities.
Tringali also had praise for Pi Beta Phi, winner of a Home Sweet Home Hero award.
“UMass students don’t always get good press in Amherst, but these guys have been terrific,” he said. “Whether it’s helping to build ramps for homebound individuals or volunteering at our Celebrate the Promise festivals on the Town Common, Pi Beta Phi and its president, David Barnstone, have been wonderful.”
Stavros Access Award nominations come from the among the 6,000 disabled people Stavros serves each year in the Pioneer Valley through advocacy, personal care attendants, peer counseling, ramp-building, and other programs.