Yearly at getAwareLive!, we take time to honor another outstanding member of the vocational rehabilitation (VR) community who, over the course of their career, has exemplified the values of serving individuals with disabilities. This lifetime achievement award, called the “Thomas Harkin Americans with Disabilities (THAD) Excellence Award,” is named in honor of retired Senator Thomas Harkin, due to his advocacy for policies designed to support Americans with disabilities. The Senator is also the author and champion of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1992. The acronym THAD is an abbreviated version of the Greek name Thaddeus, meaning “courageous heart.”
It is both the Senator’s legacy and this defining creed, that encapsulate the nature of this esteemed award. This year is particularly special because Senator Thomas Harkin himself will be presenting the award to another deserving recipient on day one of getAwareLive! We are delighted and honored to have the Senator’s support.
Leading up to getAwareLive! in July, we are asking for nominations for this year’s “Thomas Harkin Americans with Disabilities (THAD) Excellence Award” recipient. Consequently, we would love to hear from you! Nominating persons should consider a peer, mentor, or other member of the VR community who embodies the following values and criteria:
- Champion for the interests of people with disabilities
- Longtime career of service in the VR community
- Well-respected leader
- Spokesperson for causes impacting people with disabilities
- Willingness to embrace new ideas and change to improve the lives of people with disabilities
- Currently not an agency decision-maker (retired preferred) – to avoid conflict of interest
Thank you for your careful consideration and nominations.
Finally, we look forward to seeing you in Atlanta on July 25th!