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2012 Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Awards, Call for Applications Back to news
Monday, October 10, 2011

Each year the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recognizes outstanding individuals personifying leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the disability community at large. Two individuals, emerging as leaders in the cross-disability civil rights movement will each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress as leaders and further connect their work with the national grassroots of AAPD. The recipients of the 2012 Hearne Leadership Awards will meet and network with national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, DC in March 2012. If you or someone you know is an emerging leader in the disability rights movement, we encourage you to submit an application! Submissions are due November 1, 2011. The deadline is approaching quickly! For more information about the application or to see some of our former winners, please visit .

Selection Criteria

U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply; there are no age restrictions.

An "emerging leader" is someone who has demonstrated leadership qualities in his/her personal and professional life, and who has dedicated his/her passion to the pursuit of inclusion, equality and justice for all people with disabilities. The ideal candidate is an advocate, teacher, mentor, and leader within the disability community, and someone who is recognized as such by his/her peers. Winners of the 2012 Hearne Leadership Award must demonstrate:

  • Leadership achievements that show a positive impact on the broader community of people with all disabilities;
  • Connections they have made between individuals with disabilities and others in their communities;
  • A positive vision for the disability community and a continuing commitment to their pursuit of that vision;
  • The demonstrated ability to collaborate with other leaders, to follow when necessary, and to cultivate new leaders within their organizations and communities; and,
  • The potential to contribute to the disability rights movement at a national level.

Former honorees have assumed leadership positions in diverse organizations and agencies, including but not limited to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, the National Council on Independent Living, Access Living in Chicago, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, Mental Disability Rights International, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. For more information on many of the past awardees and what they have accomplished since receiving this award, please visit