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Winners to be honored at annual Gala on March 5, 2013
January 22, 2013 | AAPD Press Team

Contact: Jennah Bedrosian

Phone: 202-521-4308

E-mail: JBedrosian@aapd.com

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce Anjali Forber-Pratt and George Gallego as the winners of the prestigious 2013 Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award.

Forber-Pratt, who resides in Savoy, IL and Gallego, who lives in New York City, will be presented with awards, which are given to emerging leaders within the national disability community, at the 2013 AAPD Leadership Gala; an awards ceremony and dinner on March 5, 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The winners were chosen by a national advisory committee to receive $10,000 each, to further their work in the disability community.

AAPD’s Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award carries on the work of one of AAPD’s founders, Paul G. Hearne, a renowned leader in the national disability community and realizes his goal of cultivating emerging disability rights leaders.

Anjali Forber-Pratt is a Paralympic medalist and coauthor of an educational children’s coloring book about disabled athletes – Color Learn & Play: All About Sports for Athletes with Physical Disabilities. Her focus for the next three years will be designing a “two strand” speaker’s series for schools and other organizations, that serve underrepresented populations; as well as working with inpatients at rehabilitation hospitals.

George Gallego is the Founder and CEO of Wheels of Progress, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, that focuses on creating housing for young people with disabilities who are currently living in nursing homes or are at risk of being institutionalized, because their homes are not accessible.

The Paul G. Hearne Awards are made possible through the generous support of Darden Restaurants, whose family of restaurants includes Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House.

“Anjali and George represent the very best of the disability community”, said AAPD President and CEO, Mark Perriello. “Access to equal opportunity and independent living are at the heart and soul of our work here at AAPD and Anjali and George are leaders working to make these goals a reality. We would also like to thank Darden Restaurants, whose sponsorship and collaboration over the last 10 years has helped to move the dream of equality forward for people with disabilities. ”

For additional information about this event, visit the AAPD website, or email zbaldwin@aapd.com.

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The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.