The American Association of People with Disabilities announces 2012 Justice for All award recipients.
Leaders will be honored at a July 26 event on Capitol Hill featuring keynote address by Delaware Governor and National Governors Association Chair Jack Markell
July 24, 2012 | AAPD Press Team
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with disabilities today announced that it will recognize four individuals and a business for their outstanding work on behalf of the disability community. The Justice for All awards will be presented at a July 26 event on Capitol Hill that will feature a keynote address by Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who is chair of the National Governors Association.
This year’s recipients are:
• Representative James Clyburn (SC 6th) will be honored for his leadership in protecting voting rights for people with disabilities. His efforts include promoting legislation to increase voter registration rates among people with disabilities and others by providing services and assistance in completing and submitting registration materials; advocating for accessible voting technology; and fighting voter ID laws that could disenfranchise millions of Americans with disabilities.
• Representative Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2nd), for his commitment to veterans with disabilities. Representative LoBiondo supports legislation to ensure that service-disabled veterans receive the disability and retirement benefits that they have earned; worked to protect veterans’ health benefits; spoken out about the need for programs supporting veterans with PTSD; and supported programs that help veterans transition from active service to civilian employment.
• Author Mark Pinsky. Mark Pinsky’s recently-published book Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion, tells sixty-four stories of real people of faith who either have disabilities or are close to a person with a disability. The stories emphasize the importance of inclusion, and efforts most congregations can utilize to accomplish it. The author worked with the sixty-four storytellers and numerous others from many faiths to write Amazing Gifts.
• Gary Arnold, Little People of America and Access Living. Gary Arnold serves as president of Little People of America, the largest national organization for people with dwarfism and their families. He is Public Relations Coordinator for Access Living, a non-profit independent living center in Chicago. He is a member of Chicago ADAPT, a grassroots organization that has advocated for disability rights for decades. In his blog, Common Ground, he writes about disability issues with a specific focus on dwarfism.
• Highmark, Inc. works to ensure that people with disabilities have access to quality affordable healthcare. In 2011, Highmark staff volunteered over 82,000 hours across hundreds of non-profit organizations, including disability-focused organizations—providing work valued at over $1.69 million dollars. This work includes financial and volunteer support for the Paralyzed Veterans of America Wheelchair Games. Highmark employs over 100 people who self-identify as a person with a disability in areas of healthcare informatics, accounting, customer service, and information technology. To support these employees, Highmark has a centralized accommodation budget to assist with effective workplace integration for their employees with disabilities.
Delaware Governor and National Governors Association Chair Jack Markell will deliver the keynote address. For his Chair’s Initiative, Governor Markell launched “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People With Disabilities.” This initiative aims to increase employment among people with disabilities. The initiative will focus on the employment challenges that affect individuals with intellectual and other significant disabilities and the role that both state government and business can play in facilitating and advancing opportunities for these individuals to be gainfully employed in the competitive labor market.
“AAPD is proud to recognize the 2012 Justice for All Award honorees for their contributions to justice and opportunity for people with disabilities. As we mark the twenty-second anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we celebrate great advances but are mindful of the work that remains to be done. Representatives Clyburn and LoBiondo, Mark Pinsky, Gary Arnold, and Highmark serve as examples of leadership and dedication that we can all follow as we continue our work for justice,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello.
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The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.
Colin Schwartz, Senior Policy and Advocacy Associate
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