Press Release

April 27, 2011

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will receive the Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maryland Disability Law Center (MDLC) at their 2nd annual Breaking Barriers Awards Gala on Thursday, April 28.  The award honors Senator Cardin’s long-standing advocacy for the service and civil rights of people with disabilities. 

“Americans with disabilities are like you and me: they are Americans,” said Senator Cardin.  “And as Americans, they deserve equal access and opportunity to all that this country has to offer.  In accepting this generous honor from the MDLC, I vow to continue protecting the rights of those with disabilities.” 

Senator Cardin has a long record of advocating on behalf of people with disabilities.  He supported the recently enacted Rosa’s Law, which changes language in federal statute from “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability.” He also co-sponsored the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act, which ensures that insurance companies provide equal coverage and benefits to those suffering from mental illnesses that it provides to those with physical illnesses.  Additionally, Senator Cardin helped end discrimination against mental health services that has limited treatment options for more than 2.7 million Marylanders and 113 million Americans nationwide.

Last year, Senator Cardin presented the first Breaking Barriers Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to its namesake, the late Lorraine Sheehan, who was MDLC’s Director of Public Policy and served together with Senator Cardin in the Maryland House of Delegates.