Henry Viscardi Achievement Award

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

Henry Viscardi Achievement Awardees
Name Country
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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