Henry Viscardi Achievement Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of disability. This award recognizes the exemplary efforts made for persons with disabilities by persons with disabilities. You might have read one of our previous articles mentioning the news that the founder of WeCapable.com, Lalit Kumar, has been conferred the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award, making him only the third Indian to receive this honor.
In this article, we intend to inform our readers about this prestigious award. Also we will introduce the organization that confers this award, and most importantly the inspirational person behind it.
What is Henry Viscardi Achievement Award?
The Henry Viscardi Achievement Award is an international award that recognizes exemplary leaders in the disability sector. This award was started in 2013 to commemorate the memories and honor the legacy of the founder of Viscardi Center, Dr. Henry Viscardi Junior. Leaders from the global community of disability activism who have made exceptional efforts to change the lives of people with disabilities are selected for this award.
Nominees for the awards include individuals from a wide range of disabilities. These people with disabilities come from almost all backgrounds including the health sector, academia, education, not-for-profit organizations, government, and corporate sector.
The nominations are invited from various cities of the U.S. and countries from all over the world. Since the time of its inception, the award has been conferred to individuals from different nationalities, including the small countries like Nepal.
Henry Viscardi Achievement Awardees
|Lalit Kumar – Evara Foundation||India|
|Rebecca Cokley – Ford Foundation||United States|
|Paul W. Schroeder – American Printing House for the Blind||United States|
|Dani Bowman – DaniMation Entertainment||United States|
|Deepak KC – World Bank Group Nepal/National Paralympic Committee of Nepal||Nepal|
|Miguel Tomasín – Reynols||Argentina|
|Scott Michael Robertson – ODEP||United States|
|Nguyen Thi Lan Anh – Action to the Community Development Institute||Vietnam|
|Caroline Casey – The Valuable 500||Ireland|
|James R. “JR” Harding – Florida State University||United States|
|Judith Heumann – The Heumann Connection||United States|
|Andrew J. Imparato – Disability Rights California||United States|
|Braam Jordaan – Convo Communications||South Africa|
|Jaime Huerta Peralta – Universidad Privada del Norte||Peru|
|Edmund “EQ” Sylvester – United States Adaptive Golf Alliance||United States|
|Fa’atino Masunu Utumapu – Nuanua O Le Alofa||Samoa|
|Duong Thi Van – Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities||Vietnam|
|James J. Weisman – United Spinal Association||United States|
|Major Jas Boothe – Final Salute Inc||United States|
|SFC Joseph Bowser – U.S. Army||United States|
|Virginia A. Jacko – Miami Lighthouse for the Blind||United States|
|Kamran Khan – Saaya Association of Persons with Disabilities||Pakistan|
|Abha Khetarpal – Cross the Hurdles||India|
|Dinesh Palipana – Gold Coast Health||Australia|
|Chano Park – Seoul Center for Independent Living||South Korea|
|Ali Stroker – Tony Award-Winning Actress||United States|
|Yves Veuliet – IBM||Belgium|
|Dr. Hoang-Yen Thi Vo – Disability Research and Capacity Development||Vietnam|
|Maria Town – Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Texas||United States|
|Alireza Darvishy – Zurich University of Applied Sciences||Switzerland|
|Ilan Gilon – The Knesset||Israel|
|Frederick M. Franks, Jr.- Retired Four-Star General of the U.S. Army, Florida||United States|
|Prudence Mabhena- Prudence Mabhena Music, Zimbabwe||Zimbabwe|
|Thomas A. Hoffer -Regional Health Command – Pacific, Washington||United States|
|Bonface Ophiyah Massah, Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi||Malawi|
|Jawaid Rais – Disabled Welfare Association, Pakistan||Pakistan|
|Glen W. White- Delta Air Lines Advisory Board on Disability, Kansas||United States|
|Mohammed Yousuf – EquallyAble Foundation, Washington||United States|
|Gregory D. Gadson – U.S. Army Veteran, Patriot Strategies, VA||United States|
|Dr. Satendra Singh – Disability Rights Activist, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi||India|
|Justin Constantine- Inspirational speaker, Constantine Group, New York||United States|
|Yuval Wagner – founder Access Israel||Israel|
|Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu- Deputy Minister, Department of Social Development||South Africa|
|Matt King – Facebook, CA||United States|
|Vashkar Bhattachearjee – Young Power in Social Action||Bangladesh|
|Thomas J. Wlodkowski – ComCast, PA||United States|
|Asim Zafar – Saaya Association||Pakistan|
|Jim Mayer – U.S. Army/Vietnam Veteran (ret.), Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC||United States|
|Hiroyasu Itoh – Chairman, Japan Abilities, Tokyo||Japan|
|Dr.Louise Sinden-Carroll – International Federation of Hard of Hearing People, Auckland||New Zealand|
|Juan Pablo Salazar Salamanca, President, NCD and Presidential Advisor, Bogotá||Colombia|
|PJ Edington – IBM Government & Regulatory Affairs Executive, Washington, D.C.||United States|
|Dave McGill – VP, Reimbursement & Compliance, Ossur, Centerport, NY||United States|
|Saima Aslam – National Forum of Women with Disabilities||Pakistan|
|Senarath Attanayake, Uva Provincial Council, Colombo||Sri Lanka|
|Peggy Chenoweth, Author/Advocate/Blogger, Gainesville, Virginia||United States|
|Curtis Pride, former Major League Baseball player, MLB’s Ambassador for Disability Inclusion, New York City||United States|
|Jim Gibbons President & CEO, Goodwill Industries International||United States|
|Mark Johnson Chair, ADA Legacy Project and Director of Advocacy at Shepherd Center||United States|
|Mark Wafer President, Megleen, operating as Tim Hortons||Canada|
|David Krupa CEO, The Range of Motion Project||United States|
|Ed Lucas – Founder, The Ed Lucas Foundation; Sports Journalist||United States|
|Winfred G. Mugure– University of Nairobi||Kenya|
|Toby Olson – Executive Secretary to the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment for the State of Washington||United States|
|Lonnie C. Moore – U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command||United States|
|Marilyn E. Saviola – Senior Vice President for Advocacy and the Women’s Health Program||United States|
|Marlee Matlin – Academy Award & Golden Globe Award-winning Actress||United States|
|Yevgeniy Tetyukhin – Professor at the Petropavlovsk North Kazakhstan State University||Kazakhstan|
|Jim Abbott – Former MLB Pitcher & Gold Medal Olympian||United States|
|Maryanne Diamond – General Manager Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia||Australia|
|Marca Bristo – President & CEO of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago||United States|
|Ron McCallum – Emeritus Professor at The University of Sydney||Australia|
|Rory A. Cooper – Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh||United States|
|Neil Jacobson – Founder & CEO of Abilicorp||United States|
|Arlene Mayerson – Attorney at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund||United States|
|Thomas Porter – Volunteer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center||United States|
|Susan Sygall – Co-founder & CEO of Mobility International USA (MIUSA)||United States|
|Mary Verdi-Fletcher – President & Founding Artistic Director of Dancing Wheels||United States|
|Laurie Ahern – President, Disability Rights International||United States|
|Tony Coelho – Primary Sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990||United States|
|Rosangela Berman Bieler – Senior Advisor on Children with Disabilities, UNICEF||United States|
|Michael Ashley Stein – Executive Director, Harvard Law School Project on Disability||United States|
|Kathleen Martinez – Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor||United States|
|Patrick D. Rummerfield – Community Liaison, ICSCI, Kennedy-Krieger Institute||United States|
|Yoav Kraiem – Chairman, National Council for Community Relations – Mental Health||United States|
|Lex Frieden – Director, Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial Hermann||United States|
|U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin – Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District||United States|
What is the Viscardi Center?
As mentioned above, Viscardi Center is the organization behind the prestigious Henry Viscardi Achievement Award. Headquartered in New York, Viscardi Center is a not-for-profit organization. It is dedicated to empowering, educating, and employing persons with disabilities.
The Viscardi Center is the parent organization for the following organizations working for different purposes serving the empowering, educating, and employing goals of the parent organization:
- Abilities, Inc. – Abilities Inc. was the first organization founded by Dr. Viscardi that later expanded its horizon to become the not-for-profit organization today known as the Viscardi Center. This wing of the Viscardi Center provides job training for persons with disabilities so that they can enter the workforce and cope with the competition. It also provides training to people who get disabled later in their life due to an accident. The training helps them in re-entering the job market with their new condition.
- Nathaniel H. Kornreich Technology Center (KTC) – This is a subsidiary organization of Viscardi Center working for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. It provides state-of-the-art assistive technologies to persons with disabilities.
- Henry Viscardi School – This serves the purpose of educating children with disabilities by providing them an empowering environment to flourish into independent adults.
- National Business & disability council – This helps adults with disabilities to streamline in the business sector and fulfill their dream of self-employment and entrepreneurship.
Who was Dr. Henry Viscardi Junior?
Born on 10 May 1912, Dr. Henry Viscardi Junior was an American Disability Rights Activist. He advocated for equality for persons with disabilities and also emphasized their right to get dignified employment without any discrimination.
America is today seen as the most inclusive country for persons with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is used as a standard for most of the disability rights laws all around the globe. Dr. Viscardi was one of the first visionaries on whose vision the inclusivity of America has been built. Dr. Henry Viscardi Junior served as disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Many policy changes in America can be attributed to the efforts of Dr. Henry Viscardi Junior.
Dr. Viscardi Jr. co-authored a book “Give Us the Tools – The Inspiring Stories of America’s Most Incredible People” with Eleanor Roosevelt.
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