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College of Law earns State Bar disability award

July 17, 2008

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law recently received the Honorable John R. Sticht Excellence in Disabilities Accessibility Award from the State Bar of Arizona for its efforts in making its buildings and services fully, physically accessible to students, faculty, employees and the general public, and for promoting full inclusion in student activities.

The award is named for the late judge, a well-respected Maricopa County Superior Court judge who became a quadriplegic as the result of a trampoline accident while he was training for the gymnastics team at the University of Arizona.

Sticht’s son, John M. Sticht, a 2004 College of Law alumnus and associate at the Phoenix law firm of Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, says the award was established in 2006. His father died in 2004 at the age of 63, having spent nearly 45 years in a wheelchair.

“When he became a lawyer, there were many, many physical barriers that existed in the legal profession,” Sticht says. “At his first job interview, he had to call someone from outside the office because he couldn’t get into the building, since there weren’t any ramps.

“We have come a long way since then...but there are still a lot of physical and attitudinal barriers.”
Dean Patricia D. White says the late judge was an inspiration to the community and adds that she is appreciative that the State Bar of Arizona chose to honor his legacy through the award.

“ASU has done a great job integrating disabled students into student life,” Sticht says.