United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Suffolk County (UCPGSC) has named its universal access center, now under construction, in memory of the late Kathleen O’Callaghan Maul ’72 as a heartfelt tribute to the woman who championed access for people of all abilities during the final decade of her life.
“Ms. Maul has been recognized on the national level as one of the most positive and productive forces in the field of services for persons with disabilities,” writes George Maul ’72 of Dix Hills, N.Y., who co-nominated his late wife with Kathleen’s classmate, Carol Whitney-Agate ’72 of Cortland, N.Y.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in special education from SUNY Cortland, Maul began her career at Rome Developmental Center, where she organized the first student government in a state agency.
Her efforts toward individual advocacy and maximization of each person’s development continued as a special education teacher in the Syracuse Developmental Center and later at the Long Island Developmental Center in N.Y. While in Syracuse, she completed her post-graduate work at Syracuse University.
Her unique ability to organize and effectively focus her staff efforts to the benefit of clients was quickly recognized and she advanced to the position of associate director for community services at the Long Island Developmental Center.
In 1990, Kathleen Maul became the associate director of UCPGSC, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., which serves more than 2,500 clients and families. In 1993, she was promoted to executive director, and her agency received accolades. The New York State Self Advocacy Association named UCPGSC the 1995 Agency of the Year. The United Cerebral Palsy Association presented Kathleen Maul with its 1997 Commitment to Quality Award for Customer Responsiveness in recognition of her efforts to provide people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and their families a larger participating role in every aspect of agency operations.
“One of Kathy’s visions was an environment of total accessibility on a campus that would include an education center and a comprehensive health facility, providing primary and specialty care, mental and dental health services and therapeutic interventions for persons with disabilities,” wrote Marsha Gittleman, the agency’s director of development and public relations.
“Among her most significant accomplishments was securing property for this project through a federal grant and overseeing the initial plans for its design before her untimely passing in 2003.”
That year, the agency’s board of directors voted to name the planned facility the Kathleen O. Maul Center as a living tribute to her commitment to universal access for everyone.
“Her spirit and commitment to individuals with disabilities is strongly ingrained in all who knew her and worked with her,” George Maul said. “She is, most truly, a Distinguished Alumna, but more significantly, she is loved and respected by all who knew her.”
She and her husband, George, raised three children, Brehan, Meaghan and Katie.