Avanti, Sempre Avanti
BY LISA ARMSTRONG
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL PARAS
Michael J. Amoruso is known as a listener even though
he was born with bilateral hearing loss; he’s known for
seeing solutions even though he’s legally blind
IN 1994, A MONTH AFTER HE STARTED AT THE VINCENT A. DEIORIO
Law Firm in Westchester, Michael J. Amoruso, a recent graduate from Boston
College Law School, who was contemplating a mergers and acquisition practice,
worked pro bono on a special needs case to help a disabled woman whose
parents had spent much of the $3 million she’d won in a malpractice case.
“That one case made me realize what I wanted to do,” says Amoruso,
44. “It brought home what I go through.”
Amoruso, who runs Amoruso & Amoruso with his wife, Sreelekha, in
Rye Brook, N.Y., was born with bilateral hearing loss; he hears only one-third of the letters in the alphabet. He has also gradually lost his vision.
Now legally blind, he uses a guide dog, has a hearing aid and relies on
computer software to either enlarge documents or read them aloud.
As a result, Amoruso is uniquely qualified to handle elder law and
special needs cases because he knows firsthand the discrimination
that the disabled face. He says he has often been underestimated—by
teachers and potential employers—and he perseveres by keeping in mind
an Italian family motto: Avanti, sempre avanti. Forward, always forward.