Leaders to be awarded for breaking barriers to advance disability rights

Release date: 
Monday, August 21, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press release [PDF]

Release Date: August 21, 2017
Contact: Stacie Siebrecht, Disability Rights Washington, (206) 324-1521

SEATTLE – Disability Rights Washington is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Breaking Barriers Awards. These awards honor a business, an elected official or public servant, and an advocate with a disability for breaking barriers to advance the rights of and improve the lives of people with disabilities in Washington State.

The 2017 Breaking Barriers Awardees are:

  • Mike Raymond, Recipient of the Advocacy Award
  • Shirley Bondon, Recipient of the Public Policy Award
  • Microsoft's Real Estate & Facilities Supported Employment Program, Recipient of the Business Leader Award

Disability Rights Washington presents the Breaking Barrier Awards because it recognizes that real change only happens when a community works together. The individuals and organizations receiving these awards have worked to make change happen. To learn more about Disability Rights Washington, visit: disabilityrightswa.org.

Disability Rights Washington will recognize the honorees’ achievements at its Breaking Barriers 2nd Annual Fundraiser on September 23 from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale, buy yours today!

About Mike Raymond, Recipient of the Advocacy Award

Since Mike spent 20 years living in a state institution and has known the value of living in the community for more than 40 years since then, he has fought to use his voice to close institutions and help people live successfully in the community. Mike has appeared countless times at hearings, sharing his story with legislators, and doing his best to convince them that living in the community with funded services is what people with developmental disabilities really want and need. Mike wants state institutions to become a thing of the past.

Mike is a pioneer in the self-advocacy movement. He was an active member and a leader in People First during its formative years and helped organize Self-Advocates of Washington and Self-Advocates in Leadership. Mike stands up for his own rights and encourages others to know and defend their rights and the rights of all people with disabilities. His story is in book form, in video podcasts and has been the subject of a KING 5 news story.

About Shirley Bondon, Recipient of the Public Policy Award

Shirley has helped foster respect for the rights of people with disabilities in our courts. People with disabilities benefit when the judges, lawyers, and guardians they encounter are more likely to listen to them, to provide them with effective accommodations, and to respond with justice and respect for rights instead of based on stereotypes. Among her many responsibilities at the Administrative Office of Courts, Shirley is the manager of the Office of Public Guardianship. She recognizes that guardianship is frequently not the appropriate answer when people need help with decision-making, and has worked to increase the availability of less-restrictive options, including supported decision-making planning. She is also responsible for implementing major reforms in our state’s professional guardianship

She is also responsible for implementing major reforms in our state’s professional guardianship training and discipline system. Shirley is an innovator, a civil-rights champion, and a person who can get things done!

About Microsoft's Real Estate & Facilities Supported Employment Program, Recipient of the Business Leader Award

More than 200 people with developmental disabilities now have meaningful employment with real wages through Microsoft's Real Estate & Facilities Supported Employment Program. The benefit of this program accrues to all parties: Microsoft and its vendors obtain reliable work from employees with great attitudes; Microsoft employees benefit from the presence and diversity of this workforce; and employees with developmental disabilities have meaningful employment where they earn real wages including pay raises. Microsoft’s scalable program innovatively encourages its vendors to have more inclusive and diverse employment practices creating meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It serves as a model for businesses of all sizes to break the barriers to meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

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