Patrick Schwarz, Ph.D., associate professor of Special Education and chair of the Diversity in Learning & Development Department at National-Louis University College of Education, Chicago, recently published the book, From Disability to Possibility (Heinemann Books).

Dr. Schwartz has been an Oak Parker for 15 years and has made presentations at all Oak Park elementary schools and OPRF High School. He also made a presentation before Congress on reauthorization of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). He has five more books in the works about collaboration, differentiated instruction, peaceful schools, universal design and autism in children’s literature (in conjunction with Oak Park author Paula Kluth).

OP/RF Lions name officers

Oak Park/River Forest Lions elected the following to serve as leaders for the 2006-07 fiscal year:

President: Patrick F. Cannon

First Vice President: Paul J. Proteau

Second Vice President: Yasmin Ranney

Third Vice President: Laverne G. Miller

Secretary: Tina Gaddy

Treasurer: Juanita Beldua

Chartered in 1920, the club is among the oldest in the association, which was founded in Chicago in 1917. Now the world’s largest service club organization, Lions Clubs International-located in Oak Brook-has nearly 1.4 million members in 45,000 clubs in 199 countries and areas worldwide.

The local Lions share the association’s commitment to blindness prevention and service to the blind and sight-impaired. In addition to providing free eye exams and glasses to thousands of local people who could not have otherwise afforded them, the club supports many related organizations, including the Hadley School for the Blind, the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation, whose SightFirst program has saved millions around the world from preventable blindness.

The club meets at noon on the second and fourth Thursdays (except for July and August, fourth Thursday only) at Holly Court Terrace, 1111 Ontario in Oak Park. Visitors and prospective members are always welcome. For further information, call Patrick Cannon at 708/383-0579.

Illustrious illustrator

Medical illustrator Pat Thomas of Oak Park was installed as president of the Association of Medical Illustrators at their 61st annual meeting on Aug. 6 in Boston. The association has around 800 international members and was founded in Chicago in 1945 (

Thomas has owned her own medical illustration studio here in Oak Park since 1973. She has been the sole illustrator on nine texts and a contributing illustrator for several others. Medical-legal exhibits have been her primary work for over the past 16 years where she worked on both defense and plaintiff cases, including many high-profile trials resulting in multi-million-dollar awards. Her work can be viewed at

She also served as the ticket manager for the Unity Temple Concert Series where she has been a board member since 1994. She recently left the concert series board in order to fulfill her duties with her professional association.

Oxfam president to receive Dominican award

Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, will visit Dominican University on Aug. 28 to receive the Bradford-O’Neill Medallion for Social Justice.

Oxfam America is the U.S. affiliate of the international nonprofit development and relief agency Oxfam International. Offenheiser will be honored during the university’s convocation on Monday, Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. in Lund Auditorium, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest.

Since Offenheiser joined Oxfam America in 1995, the organization has grown more than fourfold in size and has been recognized as a leader in international development, global trade and the struggle to end global poverty.

Dominican University’s Bradford-O’Neill Medallion for Social Justice was named in honor of Sister Vincent Ferrer Bradford and Sister Thomas Aquinas O’Neill, two pioneering Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization whose work reflects and embraces the university’s core mission to create a just and humane society.

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