Born with a form of dwarfism, Colleen Fraser stood
4 feet tall.
She walked with a cane,
which she would shake
wildly to make a point.
Often that point was making the world
to people with disabilities. Fraser clearly had a
for it. "She was a firebrand," said longtime
friend Ethan Ellis,
executive director of the New
Jersey Developmental Disabilities
51, of Elizabeth, N.J., was vice chair of the
council and served in other organizations for the
was aboard United Airlines Flight
93, which crashed in
Pennsylvania. In 1989, when
she heard that New Jersey's U.S.
undecided about supporting the Americans with
Disabilities Act, she loaded about a dozen
aboard a bus and rode to both
senators' offices to get their
fashioned her flaming red hair into spikes like a
punk rocker and wore numerous earrings. She wore
sandals with orthopedic lifts. She liked
gothic novels and horror
movies. She was a wood
carver and loved to bake. She was also
passionate and tireless advocate. In fact, Fraser
was flying to a
grant-writing seminar when she
died. "I think there's a certain
that a small person like Colleen has given a
state such a big voice," Ellis said.
Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.