FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2008
Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities
Names Awards Recipients
The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) has announced the recipients of its Gerry Bertier Scholarship, John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Award, and Community Organization Grant.
Louis Barnett, from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, is ACPD’s 2008 Gerry Bertier Scholarship Award winner. Mr. Barnett participated in several sports and served in many leadership roles at T.C. Williams including baseball, swimming, golf, Key Club, Boys State delegate, and senior class treasurer. He plans to study criminal justice and participate in the Reserved Officer Training Corps at the University of Tennessee this fall. The ACPD noted that Barnett’s personal accomplishments and commitment to education made him a unanimous choice for this year’s award.
The Gerry Bertier Scholarship is a merit award presented to a student with a disability who is seeking post-secondary education. The award was established to recognize the accomplishments of Gerry Bertier, a graduate of T.C. Williams High School, who became severely disabled after he co-captained the Titans in their fabled 1971 football season. Bertier 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 ACPD also announced that the John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Award, established in 1989 in memory of John Duty Collins III, a founder and Vice Chair of the ACPD, will be presented to Jeannie Cummins Eisenhour. Cummins is director of development for RPJ Housing and president of the board for the Coalition for Housing Opportunities In the Community for Everyone (“CHOICE”).
Cummins Eisenhour has worked tirelessly for persons with disabilities by advocating for affordable and accessible housing, accessibility improvements, and universal design in Alexandria and the Northern Virginia region. She also serves on several boards and coalitions representing the needs of persons with disabilities.
The award includes a $500 donation in Cummins Eisenhour’s name to an organization of her choice that contributes to the promotion of equal opportunity for people with disabilities within the City of Alexandria.
The ACPD is also pleased to announce that CHOICE was awarded its Community Organization Grant, which is a monetary matching award covering 80 percent of the cost of a project to improve inclusion and accessibility. Through its accessibility assessment program, CHOICE will use the funds to assess and ensure that development and redevelopment efforts in the City of Alexandria meet local, state, and federal accessibility requirements. In addition, CHOICE will disseminate information on accessible housing resources, housing alerts, and hold seminars and trainings for housing and service providers, persons with disabilities, and their families.
The Community Organization Grant was established to assist nonprofit agencies throughout Alexandria with their efforts to remove barriers and extend services to Alexandria’s residents with physical or sensory disabilities.
The awards will be presented by Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille at a reception in the Vola Lawson Lobby at City Hall (301 King St.) on Tuesday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Mike Hatfield at 703.519.3357, Virginia Relay 711, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.