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Fiduccia pushed for elevated entry to reproductive companies, together with mammograms and pelvic exams. She and others efficiently lobbied to develop the nationwide Hate Crime Statistics Act to incorporate violence in opposition to individuals with disabilities. She additionally served on the California lawyer common’s Civil Rights Fee on Hate Crimes.

Together with her future husband, Daniel Fiduccia, a authorized affairs advisor she met at a 1992 coaching session for incapacity advocates, she fought to boost the revenue restrict for federal well being advantages, which stood in the way in which of marriage for disabled {couples}. Daniel Fiduccia was a survivor of childhood most cancers, and his mobility was restricted from radiation therapies that had weakened his bones.

Beneath federal well being limits, Barbara Fiduccia’s wage as a single girl was low sufficient for Medicare and Medicaid to cowl the price of her private attendants and ventilator. However the couple’s mixed revenue was over the restrict, forcing them to decide on between marriage and the well being advantages that helped preserve Barbara Fiduccia alive. Her dilemma, she instructed The San Jose Mercury Information in 1995, felt “like a unclean joke.”

“I used to be instructed in so some ways as a lady that I’d all the time be alone,” she instructed the newspaper. As a substitute, she stated, she discovered “great love and fervour” with a person who wished to spend his life along with her.

“I received over the stigma,” she stated, “and now I can’t get married.”

Her ventilator strapped to the again of her wheelchair, Barbara Fiduccia made the rounds on Capitol Hill, advocating alongside different incapacity activists, whereas Daniel Fiduccia helped map out a authorized technique. Though Congress didn’t get rid of the so-called marriage penalty, the foundations have been modified within the mid-Nineteen Nineties to permit states to grant waivers to particular person {couples}.

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“They wished to be married, and this was their one shot,” Marsha Saxton, director of analysis and coaching on the World Institute on Incapacity in Oakland, Calif., and a pal of Barbara Fiduccia, stated in a cellphone interview. “However in addition they wished to vary coverage.”

The couple married in July 1996 in a small Roman Catholic service close to their house in Cupertino, Calif., stated Rick Santina, a household pal who attended. They have been fond of youngsters, although they’d none of their very own. Santina stated his youngsters got here to know Barbara Fiduccia as “Aunt Beep” as a result of she allow them to blast the horn on her wheelchair as she gave them rides on her lap.



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