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Author Looks At Meaning Of Being Disabled, Strength Of Conviction

Multiple Sclerosis
John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Northeast Pennsylvania woman with Multiple Sclerosis battled a pharmaceutical giant, and won, in a case that has changed the employment landscape.

The world might never have heard of Jane Gagliardo but for two things, the bad luck of getting MS and the good, of finding the courage to fight.

Sherry Blackman, author of Call to Witness, says Gagliardo was fired from a major pharmaceutical company due to the ailment. She sued and her victory changed the interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Blackman herself.

“So I think it made me take a long hard look at what it means to be disabled and how does a disabled person see themselves? What really changed me, too, is how one person can really stand up and make a difference. It’s a risk but it’s worth doing if you really believe and have that strength of conviction,” she explains.

Blackman says this is also a case of corporate culture valuing profits ahead of people.