Viscardi Center names recipients of 2021 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards

Viscardi Center names recipients of 2021 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards
The Viscardi Center hosted its second annual Virtural PtichFest Competition, offering up to $75,000 in grants to disabled founders, in November. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Albertson’s Viscardi Center announced seven recipients of the 2021 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, which began in 2013 to honor the late founder. 

The awards honor advocates in the global disability community who set out to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

This year, the seven recipients represent Argentina, India, Nepal in the United States after nominations came in from around the world. Backgrounds include entertainment, sports, technology and non-profit.

“Including our group today, Viscardi Awards have been bestowed upon nearly 90 recipients from over 20 countries worldwide,” said Sherwood “Woody” Goldberg, Esq. in a statement, co-chair of the Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards Selection Committee. “The growth of this initiative is a testament to the diverse talent and contributions of the global disability community.”

Recipients include Dani Bowman who founded autism talent development company DaniMotion Entertainment in California, Rebecca Cokley, disability rights advocate serving as a program officer in the President’s Office at the Ford Foundation, Deepak KC, the accessibility consultant for World Bank Group Nepal’s Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Project and serves on the National Paralympic Committee, Lalit Kumar, chairperson of disability rights organization the Evara Foundation, Scott Michael Robinson, senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Paul W. Schroeder, V.P. of Government & Community Affairs with the American Printing House for the Blind and Miguel Tomasín, leader and drummer in the Argentine rock band Reynols.

Nominations for the 2022 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards will open this spring, the center says.

The Viscardi Center has been a pioneer in disability leadership not only in Albertson but around the world.

Its original site was one of the first U.S. businesses to be staffed by people with disabilities when it was operating out of a garage in West Hempstead, helping disabled veterans become assembly and factory workers for several large industries including Grumman, GE, IBM and the Department of Defense.

Today, the school located in Viscardi Center enrolls more than 180 students with disabilities with nearly an 86 percent graduation and college acceptance rate. For adults and adolescents, transition planning services are available for testing and job placement.

The programs place more than 100 people in integrated employment annually while also providing advocacy and support beyond participants leaving the center.

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