Alumnus’s $100,000 gift to BBI will support next generation of disability leaders

November 15, 2011

Howard D. Olinsky L'85In support of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, Howard D. Olinsky, L’85, a disability law attorney representing clients across the country, has announced a commitment of $100,000 to BBI, one of the institute’s most generous private donations.

“This fantastic gift will help ensure that BBI builds the next generation of young leaders by supporting fellowships for law students to positively impact people with disabilities,” says University Professor Peter Blanck, BBI chairman. “Howard’s commitment is a perfect example of an investment in the mission of BBI, as well as Syracuse University.”

The newly-created Olinsky Law Group BBI Fellow is designed to advance BBI’s mission to train the next generation of disability leaders in law and related fields. “I am delighted to support BBI’s amazing track record in training more than 100 Syracuse University students as the next generation of disability leaders in this nation,” says Olinsky, a member of BBI’s Board of Advisors and its executive committee. “My gift recognizes BBI and Syracuse University’s excellence and their world-renowned leadership in advocating for people with disabilities.”

Olinsky, principal of the Olinsky Law Group with offices in New York and Florida, practices Social Security disability law, workers compensation law and long-term disability law, as well as disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act on a national level. He is a 1985 graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and a 1981 graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego.

Olinsky’s gift is part of The Campaign for Syracuse University. With a goal of $1 billion dollars, The Campaign for Syracuse University is the most ambitious fundraising effort in SU’s history. By supporting faculty excellence, student access, interdisciplinary programs, capital projects and other institutional priorities, the Campaign is driving Scholarship in Action, the University’s vision to provide students, faculty and communities with the insights needed to incite positive and lasting change in the world. The seven-year effort has raised a total of more than $900 million and is well on the way of achieving the Campaign goal. More information is available at

BBI reaches around the globe to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. Launched in 2005 at SU College of Law, BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, former dean of SU’s School of Education and a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. BBI engages in projects on civil and human rights, entrepreneurship and employment, technology access, and economic empowerment. With a staff of more than 50, BBI has offices in Syracuse, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. For more information, visit