Rush- William Louis, husband, author, journalist and disability rights advocate, 49, of Lincoln, born in Omaha, died December 13, 2004 at home. Predeceased by father James and nephew Dalton. Survived by his wife, Christine Robinson, mother Lois, 3 brothers and their wives, James and Lisa, Donald and Janet, Robert and Kelly; 4 nieces and 1 nephew.
William was born with great ability and determination despite great
disability from birth. He was a born leader with great compassion for any
oppressed persons. With support from his parents, Lois and James, Bill was
encouraged to develop his gift of writing. He learned to communicate and
advocate on behalf of himself and others with disabilities. Against great
odds Bill graduated with distinction with a degree in Journalism in 1983.
Bill wrote for the League of Human Dignity Newsletter, On the Level, as
staff writer for many years. He wrote one full length book, Journey Out of
Silence, and another book that will be published after his death.
Bill married his wife Chris in 1999 after lobbying to change state rules
to allow him to marry and still keep Medicaid coverage for medical and
disability-related expenses. Bill and Chris designed their own accessible
home where Bill died making his own choices to the end.
Bill's book, Journey Out of Silence is available in print again. The second edition can be ordered online and is available in bookstores by special order.
"I have been living with cerebral palsy all my life and have had
to coordinate community resources for a good part of that time,
I have ample experience. For the past 15 years I have been serving
as a peer counselor for the local Independent Living Center, which
is called the League of Human Dignity, Inc. I have provided information,
referral and other services to people who experience disabilities
and their families. I also have assisted its Public Information
Specialists in preparing brochures for public consumption. One,
"Write with Dignity," has been widely requested by the media.
Before I was on the board of directors of Nebraska Advocacy Services,
an agency that provides legal services to people with disabilities,
I was in charge of producing that agency's newsletter. Since I have
been on the board of directors of the Nebraska Advocacy services,
my duties have included being on the monitoring committee for the
implementation of service coordination throughout Nebraska and being
on the Nebraska Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities.
I have been involved with disability issues on both a personal
and professional level.
I have enjoyed using my journalistic expertise to empower people
with disabilities and their families as well as improving the service
delivery system. " -- Bill Rush