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Henry Viscardi Achievement Award

lalit kumar aka samyak lalit gets henry viscardi award
Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | February 5, 2022 (Last update: July 14, 2022)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website:

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, 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
Lalit Kumar – Evara FoundationIndia
Rebecca Cokley – Ford FoundationUnited States
Paul W. Schroeder – American Printing House for the BlindUnited States
Dani Bowman – DaniMation EntertainmentUnited States
Deepak KC – World Bank Group Nepal/National Paralympic Committee of NepalNepal
Miguel Tomasín – ReynolsArgentina
Scott Michael Robertson – ODEPUnited States
Nguyen Thi Lan Anh – Action to the Community Development InstituteVietnam
Caroline Casey – The Valuable 500Ireland
James R. “JR” Harding – Florida State UniversityUnited States
Judith Heumann – The Heumann ConnectionUnited States
Andrew J. Imparato – Disability Rights CaliforniaUnited States
Braam Jordaan – Convo CommunicationsSouth Africa
Jaime Huerta Peralta – Universidad Privada del NortePeru
Edmund “EQ” Sylvester – United States Adaptive Golf AllianceUnited States
Fa’atino Masunu Utumapu – Nuanua O Le AlofaSamoa
Duong Thi Van – Hanoi Association of People with DisabilitiesVietnam
James J. Weisman – United Spinal AssociationUnited States
Major Jas Boothe – Final Salute IncUnited States
SFC Joseph Bowser – U.S. ArmyUnited States
Virginia A. Jacko – Miami Lighthouse for the BlindUnited States
Kamran Khan – Saaya Association of Persons with DisabilitiesPakistan
Abha Khetarpal – Cross the HurdlesIndia
Dinesh Palipana – Gold Coast HealthAustralia
Chano Park – Seoul Center for Independent LivingSouth Korea
Ali Stroker – Tony Award-Winning ActressUnited States
Yves Veuliet – IBMBelgium
Dr. Hoang-Yen Thi Vo – Disability Research and Capacity DevelopmentVietnam
Maria Town – Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, TexasUnited States
Alireza Darvishy – Zurich University of Applied Sciences Switzerland
Ilan Gilon – The KnessetIsrael
Frederick M. Franks, Jr.- Retired Four-Star General of the U.S. Army, FloridaUnited States
Prudence Mabhena- Prudence Mabhena Music, ZimbabweZimbabwe
Thomas A. Hoffer -Regional Health Command – Pacific, WashingtonUnited States
Bonface Ophiyah Massah, Association of Persons with Albinism in MalawiMalawi
Jawaid Rais – Disabled Welfare Association, PakistanPakistan
Glen W. White- Delta Air Lines Advisory Board on Disability, KansasUnited States
Mohammed Yousuf – EquallyAble Foundation, WashingtonUnited States
Gregory D. Gadson – U.S. Army Veteran, Patriot Strategies, VAUnited States
Dr. Satendra Singh – Disability Rights Activist, University College of Medical Sciences, DelhiIndia
Justin Constantine- Inspirational speaker, Constantine Group, New YorkUnited States
Yuval Wagner – founder Access IsraelIsrael
Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu- Deputy Minister, Department of Social DevelopmentSouth Africa
Matt King – Facebook, CAUnited States
Vashkar Bhattachearjee – Young Power in Social ActionBangladesh
Thomas J. Wlodkowski – ComCast, PAUnited States
Asim Zafar – Saaya AssociationPakistan
Jim Mayer – U.S. Army/Vietnam Veteran (ret.), Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DCUnited States
Hiroyasu Itoh – Chairman, Japan Abilities, TokyoJapan
Dr.Louise Sinden-Carroll – International Federation of Hard of Hearing People, AucklandNew Zealand
Juan Pablo Salazar Salamanca, President, NCD and Presidential Advisor, BogotáColombia
PJ Edington – IBM Government & Regulatory Affairs Executive, Washington, D.C.United States
Dave McGill – VP, Reimbursement & Compliance, Ossur, Centerport, NYUnited States
Saima Aslam – National Forum of Women with DisabilitiesPakistan
Senarath Attanayake, Uva Provincial Council, ColomboSri Lanka
Peggy Chenoweth, Author/Advocate/Blogger, Gainesville, VirginiaUnited States
Curtis Pride, former Major League Baseball player, MLB’s Ambassador for Disability Inclusion, New York CityUnited States
Jim Gibbons President & CEO, Goodwill Industries InternationalUnited States
Mark Johnson Chair, ADA Legacy Project and Director of Advocacy at Shepherd CenterUnited States
Mark Wafer President, Megleen, operating as Tim HortonsCanada
David Krupa CEO, The Range of Motion ProjectUnited States
Ed Lucas – Founder, The Ed Lucas Foundation; Sports JournalistUnited States
Winfred G. Mugure– University of NairobiKenya
Toby Olson – Executive Secretary to the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment for the State of WashingtonUnited States
Lonnie C. Moore – U.S. Army Warrior Transition CommandUnited States
Marilyn E. Saviola – Senior Vice President for Advocacy and the Women’s Health ProgramUnited States
Marlee Matlin – Academy Award & Golden Globe Award-winning ActressUnited States
Yevgeniy Tetyukhin – Professor at the Petropavlovsk North Kazakhstan State UniversityKazakhstan
Jim Abbott – Former MLB Pitcher & Gold Medal OlympianUnited States
Maryanne Diamond – General Manager Advocacy and Engagement at Vision AustraliaAustralia
Marca Bristo – President & CEO of Access Living of Metropolitan ChicagoUnited States
Ron McCallum – Emeritus Professor at The University of SydneyAustralia
Rory A. Cooper – Distinguished Professor at the University of PittsburghUnited States
Neil Jacobson – Founder & CEO of AbilicorpUnited States
Arlene Mayerson – Attorney at the Disability Rights Education and Defense FundUnited States
Thomas Porter – Volunteer at Walter Reed National Military Medical CenterUnited States
Susan Sygall – Co-founder & CEO of Mobility International USA (MIUSA)United States
Mary Verdi-Fletcher – President & Founding Artistic Director of Dancing WheelsUnited States
Laurie Ahern – President, Disability Rights InternationalUnited States
Tony Coelho – Primary Sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990United States
Rosangela Berman Bieler – Senior Advisor on Children with Disabilities, UNICEFUnited States
Michael Ashley Stein – Executive Director, Harvard Law School Project on DisabilityUnited States
Kathleen Martinez – Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of LaborUnited States
Patrick D. Rummerfield – Community Liaison, ICSCI, Kennedy-Krieger InstituteUnited States
Yoav Kraiem – Chairman, National Council for Community Relations – Mental HealthUnited States
Lex Frieden – Director, Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial HermannUnited States
U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin – Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional DistrictUnited 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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