Pictured (Seated: James Wilson, Thomas Gilhool, Gillian Gilhool:
Standing: Sherri Landis, Shirley Keith Knox)
The Arc of Pennsylvania celebrates the life of Tom Gilhool.
It is with deep sympathy and sadness that we announce the passing of Tom Gilhool. Thomas K. Gilhool, built his career on precedent-setting lawsuits on behalf of people with disabilities. He is the former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education (1987-89) and a civil rights attorney and was lead counsel with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
His long-time friend Jim Wilson says, "As you all know Tom was a giant. In PARC v Commonwealth he established the constitutional right of our school age kids to a free and appropriate public education. This led to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act now IDEA. Later in Halderman, which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately Pennhurst was closed along with institutions in four other states. This led to the establishment of community services and ultimately to ADA. These are only two of him many accomplishments! We are grateful for all he did."