Marilyn Saviola Biography
Marilyn E. Saviola was best known as USA Disability Rights Advocate. After childhood polio Saviola left her a quadriplegic spent much of her adult life advocating for people with disabilities, pushing for the removal of both the physical barriers and the attitudes that hinder people like her from fully participating in society, died on Nov. 23 at her home in Brooklyn. She was 74.
Marilyn Saviola Parents
Saviola father, Peter, and mother, Camilla, immigrants from Italy, owned a candy store and luncheonette.
Marilyn Elizabeth Saviola was born on July 13, 1945 in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx. His life changed dramatically in August 1955, when he became ill while visiting relatives in Connecticut.
Polio was diagnosed. The first vaccine for her had recently been developed, but she had not yet received it.
“I was supposed to do it when I returned to school in September,” he recalled in an oral story recorded for the Oral History Project of the Movement for the Rights of the Disabled and Independent Living in 2001.
Marilyn Saviola was taken to Willard Parker Hospital in Manhattan.
“I was in this great room where I suppose there were maybe four or five other people,” he recalled, “and they always died. Apparently I was one of the few people who survived in that room. ”
He spent time in an iron lung and, when he left it, he had to use a respirator to breathe. She was transferred to the Goldwater Memorial Hospital in Roosevelt Island, which provided long-term care for people with disabilities and chronic conditions, but was eventually sent home.
There, in his family’s two-story house, with stairs to negotiate, his life became more limited as he grew up and his parents could not easily raise it. In his teens, he decided to return to Goldwater to live.
Education and Disability Rights Advocate
She began to think about her disability and why it was easier for her to live in an institution than at home. Marilyn finished high school at Goldwater — there were tutors there — and was accepted at Long Island University.
At first, Marilyn Saviola didn’t go to classes in person; she took them via a speakerphone. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology there in 1970. Two years later she received a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at New York University.
She participated in demonstrations with groups like Disabled in Action (later becoming its president), and she began to realize she wanted to leave Goldwater Memorial and live on her own. In 1973 she moved into her own apartment. She was surprised when friends and family members kept telling her how brave she was.
Marilyn Saviola Death and Cause
She died on November 23, 2019, at her home in Brooklyn. She was 74.