Suzanne Bacal focused her passion for the rights of people with disabilities on their inclusion and integration into all aspects of community living. An articulate advocate and skilled writer, her insightful and powerful letters to the editor were often published.
After graduating from Hofstra University and earning her master’s degree from the University of Miami, Bacal joined Liberty Resources, when it was called Resources for Living Independently, as the Coordinator of Community Outreach and Education. She was editor of Liberty Works for several years.
Bacal worked with the Ventilator Assisted Children Program at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia as an adviser. She was instrumental in saving funding for the state’s Ventilator Dependent Children’s Home Program in the mid-1990s, helping to organize a silent protest of ventilator assisted children and their families at the state capital. With the aid of the Public Access Law Center, Bacal initiated a class-action lawsuit against SEPTA to improve paratransit services for people with disabilities.
Bacal spoke at workshops and conferences regularly, calling for better access, fuller employment and inclusion in the community for people with disabilities.
At the time of her death in January 2000, Bacal was the longest-tenured employee of Liberty Resources. She was 42.