On this blog, we often focus on the difficulties that come with having a disability and applying for Social Security disability benefits. Of course, those who live with a disability know them all too well. Sometimes, however, it's important to focus on positive things.
Recently, the Viscardi Center of Albertson, a disability center in Long Island, announced that it has established an awards program that will honor influential people in the disabled community. The Viscardi Center is named after Dr. Henry Viscardi who spent much of his life working as an adviser to eight presidents. He also spent time advising veterans on disabilities.
The Viscardi Center has created an advisory board that will run the awards program. Its two chairs will be Marlee Matlin, an Oscar-winning actress who is deaf, and Bob Dole, a former senator who uses a wheel chair. The center says it will announce the first awards recipients on March 4, the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inauguration. President Roosevelt had polio and was paralyzed at age 39.
Living with a disability is no easy feat, especially when our world was not built with disability in mind. However, it's important every once in a while to remember how far we've come in establishing greater equality for those who are disabled. There is no doubt that the people the Viscardi Center chooses to award have gone above and beyond in advocating for disabled people in New York and around the world. Hopefully honoring them will inspire others to do the same.
Source: CBS New York, "Long Island Disabilities Center Creates International Awards Program," Dec. 9, 2012