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Page updated Jun 24, 2009 8:29 AM
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Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities Honors Awards Recipients

June 24, 2009

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• Contact Mike Hatfield at 703.746.3148 (Virginia Relay 711) or mike.hatfield@alexandriava.gov

Mayor William D. Euille, members of the Alexandria City Council, and members of the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) honored the ACPD’s 2009 award winners on June 23 during a reception at City Hall. The annual awards recognize Alexandria’s outstanding students, advocates, and organizations working in the community to ensure equal opportunities and access for persons with disabilities. This year’s awardees are Robert Brown, recipient of the Gerry Bertier Scholarship; Mary Riley, winner of the John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Award; and Rebuilding Together Alexandria, winner of a Community Organization Grant.

• Bertier Scholarship winner Robert Brown, a senior at T. C. Williams High School, will attend Virginia State University to study health, physical education, and recreation. He would like to help teens struggling in school and encourage people with disabilities to pursue sports. The Bertier Scholarship award is awarded, based on merit, to a student with a disability who is seeking post-secondary education. The award honors the accomplishments of T. C. Williams graduate Gerry Bertier, who became severely disabled after he co-captained the Titans in their fabled 1971 football season. He went on to receive many gold medals in national and international athletic competitions and he devoted his life to the service of persons with disabilities.

• The John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Award was established in 1989 in memory of the founder and Vice Chair of the ACPD. This year’s award recipient, Mary Riley, has advocated for persons with mental illness, people with substance use dependencies, the homeless, and persons with intellectual disabilities for more than 20 years. Riley dedicates her time and talents to the community and has served for nine years as chair of the Alexandria Community Services Board on which she continues to serve. The award includes a $500 donation in Riley’s name to an organization of her choice that contributes to promoting equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in Alexandria.

• The Community Organization Grant, awarded to Rebuilding Together Alexandria (RTA), was established to assist nonprofit agencies in Alexandria with their efforts to remove barriers and extend services to Alexandria residents with physical or sensory disabilities. The grant is a monetary matching award covering 80% of the costs of a project to improve inclusion and accessibility. RTA will use the funds to install interior and exterior stairway lifts, grab bars, handrails, and other accessibility features for residents with disabilities so that they can live safely and independently in their homes.

The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities was established in 1974 and provides advice to the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager on policies, programs, and services in Alexandria affecting persons with disabilities. The Office of Human Rights enforces the Alexandria Human Rights Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, or disability. For more information, or to request this document in an alternative format, please call Mike Hatfield at 703.746.3148 (Virginia Relay 711) or e-mail mike.hatfield@alexandriava.gov.

For more information, contact Andrea Blackford, Communications Officer, at 703.746.3959 or e-mail andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov