AAPD Honors Work on Behalf of People With Disabilities

On July 26, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recognized four individuals and one business for their work supporting the community of people with disabilities.

The recipients of this year’s Justice for All awards were

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. – Led initiative to protect voting rights for people with disabilities, including promoting legislation to increase voter registration rates, advocating for accessible voting technology and fighting for voter identification laws.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J. – Supported legislation to ensure that veterans with service-related disabilities receive disability and retirement benefits; backed programs to help veterans transition from active duty to civilian employment; worked to protect veterans’ health benefits; and spoke out about the need for PTSD programs for veterans.

Author Mark Pinsky – Published “Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability and Inclusion,” a book containing 64 stories of people of faith who either have disabilities or are close to a person with a disability; the stories emphasize the importance of inclusion.

Gary Arnold – Serves as president of Little People of America, a national organization for people with dwarfism and their families, and public relations coordinator for Access Living, a nonprofit independent living center in Chicago; advocates for disability rights through ADAPT; blogs about disability issues on Common Ground.

Highmark, Inc. – In 2011, staff volunteered more 82,000 hours across hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including disability-focused organizations; the company provided financial and volunteer support for the Paralyzed Veterans of America Wheelchair Games.

“AAPD is proud to recognize the 2012 Justice for All Award honorees for their contributions to justice and opportunity for people with disabilities,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “As we mark the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we celebrate great advances but are mindful of the work that remains to be done. Reps. 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.”