After Benjamin Ricci had filed what would become a landmark lawsuit against the state, US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro decided to visit Belchertown State School, where Mr. Ricci's mentally retarded son was a resident. The judge spent hours at the facility.
As a college professor, [Gerald J. Morrissey Jr.] said, Mr. Ricci also "galvanized the college community in Western Massachusetts by creating student volunteer opportunities to . . . work at Belchertown State School. And by doing that, he transformed the workforce at Belchertown and created a brand new workforce for the Commonwealth.
Richard H. Gowen, president of the Advocacy Network, a nonprofit that monitors issues involving the mentally retarded in Massachusetts, called Mr. Ricci "a very compassionate person. I didn't even know a Ben Ricci existed until I sought assistance for my mentally retarded sister. [Ben] immediately gave me his expertise, his advice, and he took some action on my behalf, and the situation was resolved. He did this for countless people."