A Legacy of Disability Rights Leaders

The disability-expertise that defines ICS and our programs is no accident. Disability rights leaders had a central role in creating ICS and continue to have a powerful influence to this day. Anna Fay and Marilyn Saviola shaped our culture, created two of our most important programs and led these programs for many years – until their deaths in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Anna Fay

Anna Fay, who served as ICS Senior Vice President for Independent Living, contracted polio in 1944 at the age of six. She was a renowned leader in the New York disability rights movement beginning in the 1970s and up until her death. She was also a role model and mentor to four generations of people with disabilities who sought to live independently, outside of institutions. Shortly after Anna’s death, she was chosen as an inaugural inductee into the New York State Disability Rights Hall of Fame.

  • Listen to an Independence Radio interview with Anna on her life of activism recorded near the end of her remarkable life.
  • For an incredible first-hand account of the late 20th Century Disability Rights Movement, read an interview with Anna conducted by the University of California’s Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement Oral History Project.

Marilyn Saviola

Marilyn Saviola was a friend and mentor to countless people, a lifelong advocate, and a giant in the world of disability rights. She was the recipient of many honors and an inaugural inductee into the New York State Disability Rights Hall of Fame. In July of 2019, the New York City Health + Hospitals System honored Marilyn for her decades of work expanding access to healthcare for people with disabilities. Marilyn’s powerful advocacy was fueled by her remarkable determination, her wicked sense of humor, razor-sharp intelligence and bottomless well of compassion.