After the accident, Simon testified before both houses of Congress in support of a bill to extend the 1968 Fair Housing Act to people with disabilities and families with children. The Fair Housing Amendments Act passed and was signed into law in 1988. But Simon's advocacy for the disabled was just a beginning.
Soon, Simon began to receive referrals from her son's disabled friends and from groups that provide assistance to the disabled - 40 percent of her business now comes from people with physical challenges. And she became determined to affect real change in the industry.
Simon convinced local MLS directors to add listing categories showing whether a property has accessibility features, such as wider door and roll-in showers. And, she researched which houses, condos, and apartments in her county could be made accessible and spoke to the owners about making changes.
For salespeople, Simon created a continuing education program, which teaches participants how to accommodate clients with disabilities.
When attendees enter the class, Simon is sitting in a wheelchair. "Later, I stand up and ask them what they initially thought about me," she says. Her goal is to help salespeople overcome their awkwardness about working with physically challenged prospects.
Indefatigable, Simon is currently lobbying the local housing authority so all new homes will be "visitable". My son can't always visit his friends, because he can't get his wheelchair through their doors," says Simon. "Imagine if your grandmother couldn't visit you because she was in a wheelchair or couldn't climb stairs."