With great sadness, HSPRD shares the passing of our partner and friend Andrés Gallegos on December 1, 2023. To his core, Andrés was a tremendous advocate for disability rights. He dedicated his life and legal practice to increasing accessibility and fighting disability discrimination, with a particular passion for advancing access to healthcare. Andrés was a zealous, tenacious, and unflinching litigator, who led with kindness and respect for everyone that he encountered. He provided wise counsel to individuals and businesses and fierce advocacy for the disability rights movement.
Andrés served as a dedicated board member and chair for Access Living for many years, and supported and guided other centers for independent living and a host of disability rights organizations. His work has been widely recognized, including through awards from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Illinois Association for the Deaf, and many others. Andrés served on the National Council on Disability since 2018, and President Biden appointed Andrés the Chair of the Council in January 2021. Andrés was a fourteen-year veteran of the United States Air Force, and a member of the disability community, Class of 1996, following an injury.
HSPRD mourns the loss of Andrés with his family, his friends, his clients, and many other advocates throughout the country. It has been an honor and privilege to have him as our partner, colleague, and friend. Andrés adored his family as a loving spouse, proud father, and doting grandfather. The Gallegos family’s statement provides a moving tribute and ways to honor Andrés through this transition. The HSPRD community will deeply miss Andrés, and his memory will serve as an inspiration to continue his work.