Beacon for Inclusion Award Winners Announced!

The ICI has selected 5 extraordinary individuals from a large group of nominees to be honored at the Beacon for Inclusion Awards luncheon, coming up Wednesday June 6 at the Massachusetts State House.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations advancing disability rights throughout the state. Here are the winners:

Oanh Thi Thu Bui

Oanh Thi Thu Bui: Cultural Broker, Federation for Children with Special Needs

Ms. Bui is an advocate for children with disabilities and their families in Boston’s Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities. The support group she founded, Circle of Vietnamese Parents, has helped build parents’ confidence in navigating social service and school systems here in MA.

Robert DeLeo

Robert DeLeo: Speaker, Massachusetts House of Representatives

Speaker DeLeo has championed the rights of people with disabilities since he was first elected in 1990. Among many other efforts, he supported the “Real Lives Bill,” which gave people with disabilities greater control over the services they receive.

Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan: Executive Director, Disability Action for America

Ms. Flanagan is a strong advocate for health and inclusion. She was one of the protestors with disabilities forcibly removed from the US Capitol during the 2017 debate around health care legislation, and leads efforts at Disability Action for America to elect more policymakers with disabilities.

Ludwik Szymanski

Ludwik Szymanski, MD: Neurodevelopmental Psychiatrist, Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Szymanski is a pioneer in the field of mental health for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Over his decades-long career, he has worked extensively with the juvenile justice system to advocate for those with disabilities. He has been involved with the ICI since our earliest days, and continues to teach at our affiliated LEND Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Abdirahman A. Yusuf

Abdirahman A. Yusuf: Executive Director, Somali Development Center

Mr. Yusuf has embraced disability inclusion within the Somali Development Center, and consistently educates his constituents about what youth and adults with disabilities can accomplish. For 20 years, he has trained the ICI on ways to offer culturally responsive supports to Boston’s East African communities.

The awards ceremony is free and open to the public. We hope you’ll join us!

RSVPs are required. Register here.

This event is part of the ICI’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which are ongoing through June. Learn more about what’s happening and how you can take part!