2007 Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award Winners
John Register - Colorado Springs, CO
John Register is a veteran of the Gulf War, a silver-medalist in the Paralympic Games, and a former Olympic Trials athlete. While he was training for the 1996 Olympics, Register landed incorrectly after clearing a hurdle and severed a major artery in his left leg. As a result, his leg was amputated. Since then, Register has been a strong disability rights advocate who believes that participation in sports can enrich the lives of people with disabilities and change public attitudes towards the disability community. As Associate Director of Development and Outreach for the U.S Paralympics, Register was instrumental in the launch of the U.S. Paralympic Academy in 2003, which exposes youth and young adults to a variety of Paralympic sports. The interaction with other physically disabled peers challenges the students to learn as much from each other as from the sports they play. Register also conceived of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Paralympic Military Program, which shows military personnel the powerful role that sports could play in rehabilitation. As a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, Register is working to foster positive relations with other governments and help them adopt progressive disability initiatives worldwide. It is his goal to grow the Paralympic sports programs by connecting state agencies, schools, businesses and community organizations, to touch the lives of youths in more than 40 states. He also hopes to make the use of recreational therapy a standard part of the military rehabilitation program.
TyKiah R. Wright - Columbus, Ohio
TyKiah Wright used her personal experience and entrepreneurial skills to establish WrightChoice, Inc. in Ohio: a nonproft group that prepares under-represented individuals with the resources needed to be successful and productive in the workplace. Wright grew up with Charcot-Marie Tooth disease: a hereditary neurological disorder that affects the lower leg and arm muscles. After receiving a Masters of Business Administration degree, she found herself unemployed. This experience motivated her to help other high school and college graduates with disabilities strengthen their career development skills and successfully find jobs and internships. WrightChoice, Inc. helps build bridges between college students with disabilities and the workforce, complementing their educational experience with on-the-job training. It also addresses diversity related training needs for employers, offering seminars focused on disability awareness, the use of technology in the workplace, and leadership. Wright's belief in economic empowerment for people with disabilities has lead to many honors, including being named one of Ebony Magazine's "2006 Young Leader of the Future." Her top priorities for the next three years include connecting more companies with qualified college graduates and exploring the concept of e-internships for individuals who face transportation barriers.
- AAPD commends President Obama on the nomination of EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum for a second term, looks forward to swift Senate confirmation
AAPD Press Team | 05/24/2013
- AAPD APPLAUDS SENATE VOTE TO ADVANCE NOMINATION OF TOM PEREZ
AAPD Press Team | 05/16/2013