On the ADA’s 27th anniversary, Alliance recognizes the inaugural recipient of the award, Russell Cusack of North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Alliance announced today the first recipient of the Thomas Harkin Americans with Disabilities (T.H.A.D.) Excellence Award. The award recognizes a member of the rehabilitation services community who exemplifies outstanding service to people with disabilities, true to its namesake.
Alliance CEO Chris M. Pieper and The Harkin Institute executive director, Joseph Jones, revealed the inaugural award winner at the company’s getAwareLive! conference in Dallas: Russ Cusack, director of North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
“Russell Cusack has been a public servant for more than 35 years, in both Alaska and North Dakota, dedicating his career to improving the lives of thousands of people with disabilities. He’s richly deserving of this award,” Pieper said. “As we recognize the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we’re fortunate to share the stage with director Joseph Jones and The Harkin Institute, and to recognize Russell’s contribution and the commitment of our entire getAwareLive! audience who give their time, energy and passion to help people with disabilities.”
Jones shared an inspirational and moving keynote presentation at the conference today that highlighted much of the progress over the past 27 years, and The Harkin Institute’s continuing efforts to advance disability rights across the country.
“Since the passage of the ADA there have been many improvements to opportunities available for those with disabilities,” Jones said. “However, challenges remain, hindering the ability to truly provide equal opportunities for all. It’s our responsibility to help close the gap and provide the resources and support for these individuals to grow and prosper.”