Kessler Foundation announces it recently received the 2020 Alan Reich Award for Exceptional Contribution in Disability Inclusion.

The award was presented virtually on September 30 during the National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) Corporate Leadership Council’s Annual Forum, titled. “ADA at 30: What’s Next?”

The online program, emceed by actors and disability advocates Danny Woodburn and Robert David Hall, featured remarks by NOD President Carol Glazer, NOD Chairman Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania, and US Senator Bob Casey; panel discussions by corporate leaders and advocates on accessibility, technology, and the impact of COVID-19; as well as announcements of NOD’s awards honoring organizations and employers for advances in disability inclusion.

The Alan A. Reich Award for Exceptional Contribution in Disability Inclusion memorializes Alan Reich, founder of NOD, who was disabled by spinal cord injury. In acknowledgment of his accomplishments through NOD, Reich received The George H.W. Bush Medal, an award created to reinforce the nation’s commitment to keeping the promise of the ADA to all Americans and to encourage the spirit of the ADA throughout the world, a media release from Kessler Foundation explains.

Award Honors Reich’s Legacy

“The work we do Kessler Foundation supports the spirit of the ADA, and honors the legacy of Alan Reich.”

— Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior vice president of grants and communications at Kessler Foundation, who accepted the award from Governor Ridge

In her comments, Katz expressed thanks to NOD on behalf of Kessler Foundation. She continues:

“As we heard today, purposeful efforts are needed to continue to extend the promise of the ADA to all Americans. Kessler Foundation’s efforts include the investment of over $270 million dollars in rehabilitation research that improves the cognition and mobility of people disabled by illness and injury.

“Restoring function is just the first step on the continuum to independence. Our research in vocational rehabilitation and disability employment explores new ways of transitioning job-seekers with disabilities to the workplace. To maximize outcomes, the Foundation also funds innovative employment programs to expand opportunities for competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.

“As the COVID pandemic continues to impact our society, workplace inclusion remains a cornerstone of independence for people with disabilities. It is the right of people with disabilities to be valued for their strengths, their right to have equal opportunities to succeed and grow professionally, and most importantly, to be compensated fairly for their work.“

The Coca-Cola Company received the Charles F. Dey Award for Equal Opportunity, and disability rights advocate Judy Heumann accepted the NOD Lifetime Achievement Award, the release continues.

[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, PRWeb]

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