Easter Seals honored select federal government members with its 2014 Outstanding Advocate Award during its recent Advocacy Summit Awards Dinner held in Washington D.C. Easter Seals created its Outstanding Advocate Awards to honor public officials -- elected and appointed -- for their work to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, and for all.
The following federal officials were awarded as Easter Seals 2014 Outstanding Advocates having each had a significant and positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities:
Federal Elected Official:
Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa made a profound impact on the disability community and is a national leader in disability policy. During his 40 year tenure as an elected official he has been involved with almost every significant piece of legislation affecting people with disabilities. Most notably, he was the primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. The ADA made life-altering changes by creating civil rights protections for 56 million people with disabilities. This act was the catalyst that paved the way for future legislation providing services, rights and protections to individuals with disabilities.
Congressman George Miller, representative for California’s 11th defined his career by a strong dedication to quality education for children with disabilities. He championed the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and continued his commitment to the rights of children with disabilities even after his retirement, by introducing the Keeping All Students Safe Act to prevent and reduce the use of seclusion and restraint of students with disabilities in schools.
Congressman Henry Waxman, representative for California’s 33rd District, played an instrumental role in developing legislation that expanded Medicaid to better serve individuals with disabilities. His work helped Easter Seals provide millions annually to elderly persons and people with disabilities. He supported the implementation of legislation that aligns with the mission of Easter Seals including the Affordable Care Act, the Family Opportunity Act, the Work Incentives Improvement Act and the National Family Caregiver Act.
Easter Seals 2014 Outstanding Advocate Award In 1991, Easter Seals awarded its first Outstanding Advocate Award to recognize sustained efforts by elected and appointed officials that help forward Easter Seals’ mission to serve people with disabilities. Every honoree has gone the extra mile in making a difference for Americans with disabilities. Each believes that people with disabilities deserve a quality education, opportunities for employment, and access to health care, affordable housing, transportation and polling places.
About Easter Seals Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, Easter Seals has been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Support children and adults with disabilities at www.easterseals.com.