Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition Announces Its 2013 Award Recipients On The 23rd Anniversary Of The Americans With Disabilities Act AWARDEES:


Leaders Focused on Civil Rights for people with disabilities will be honored on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DENVER, July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on  the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) with generous support from many organizations including Colorado Access and Rocky Mountain Health Plans Accountable Care Collaborative, announced its 2013 ADA Access Award recipients. The awardees will be honored at a luncheon to be held on Wednesday, November 6, 2103 at Mile High Station Event Center, 2027 West Lower Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado.

The 2013 award recipients, who have shown leadership in supporting people with disabilities in their quest for inclusion and independence are Michelle Sie Whitten, Executive Director of Global Down Syndrome Foundation; Senator Pat Steadman, a Colorado State Senator and Attorney; Karen Z. Brass, a second generation Holocaust Survivor and founder of Standupsters; and Chanda Hinton-Leichtle, Founder and Executive Director of The Chanda Plan Foundation.

CCDC, whose mission is to advocate for social justice for people with disabilities, has presented this prestigious annual award on the anniversary of ADA to leaders focused on the civil rights of people with disabilities since 1990.  Past recipients include Colorado State Representative Cheri Gerou, Joe Kiolbasa, City Manager, City of Sterling, and Sophie Faust of the Caring for Colorado Foundation.

The 2013 ADA Access Award recipients' short bios summarize their leadership:

Michelle Sie Whitten, Executive Director of Global Down Syndrome Foundation launched a much-needed academic home for Down syndrome medical care and research and supports that effort with the fundraiser "Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show." The fundraiser, one of the top five in Colorado, highlights the beauty and brilliance of people with disabilities against the back-drop of Hollywood celebrities. People with disabilities are the focus of the fundraiser – far from being pitied or invisible. The event sends a message of inclusion, dignity, and equality.

Senator Pat Steadman, a Colorado State Senator and attorney, has been a longtime supporter of people with disabilities and human rights. In his role on the Joint Budget Committee, Senator Steadman works hard to hold state agencies that are supposed to be supporting our independence and inclusion accountable. This past year Senator Steadman took a leadership role in supporting an increase in wages for the people that provide direct personal care for many Medicaid clients with disabilities. These amazing workers whose dedication enables the independence of people with disabilities have gone years without an increase. 

Karen Z. Brass, a second generation Holocaust Survivor, started a program called Standupsters. This program shows the benefits of inclusion and teaches students of all ages how to stand up to bullying, discrimination and hatred—even as a bystander. Her work reminds us that prevention of a Holocaust is a societal responsibility and hatred of any kind leads to devastating consequences. Karen has a learning disability that she has overcome, and two children with physical and learning disabilities. Karen is a published author and an advocate to parents and educators on behalf of children.

Chanda Hinton-Leichtle, Founder and Executive Director of The Chanda Plan Foundation will receive the Kathy Vincent Memorial Leadership Award. Kathy Vincent (CCDC's first Board President) who passed away this June, was a remarkable early leader in Colorado's disability rights movement and the fight for inclusion and independence. Chanda's incredible efforts involved successfully advocating for low income disabled people to have increased access to the healing qualities of alternative medical care such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. She started an organization, raises funds for access, and fought to pass legislation to allow a pilot program to assess the cost effectiveness of providing these services to specific Medicaid clients.

These remarkable individuals will be honored at a luncheon on November 6, 2013 at Mile High Station Event Center, 2027 West Lower Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado. For more information, sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase a table or a ticket, please contact Jerry Frangas at 303-931-1681 or

Jerry Frangas
Cell: 303-931-1681

SOURCE Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition


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