Marca Bristo selected for 2014 Henry Viscardi Achievement Award Honoree

Access Living is thrilled to announce that President & CEO Marca Bristo was named a 2014 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards winner. Bristo joins Marlee Matlin, Jim Abbot and nine other leaders from around the world as honorees. The awards pay tribute to leaders in the disability community who have had a profound impact on shaping attitudes, raising awareness and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.

A pioneer of Chicago’s disability rights movement, Bristo helped launch Access Living, one of the country’s first ten centers for independent living. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Bristo to head the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that provides policy guidance to the U.S. President and Congress. Bristo was the first person with a disability to hold this position. Today, as President of the United States International Council on Disabilities, she is leading a campaign to promote the Senate ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the United States.

The Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards honor the contributions of the Awardees in the spirit of the legacy and vision of the Center’s founder, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr. . Viscardi served as a disability advisor to eight presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. The 2014 Award recipients include:

• Jim Abbott – Former MLB Pitcher & Gold Medal Olympian
• Marca Bristo – President & CEO of Access Living of
Metropolitan Chicago
• Rory Cooper, Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor at the
University of Pittsburgh
• Maryanne Diamond – General Manager Advocacy and
Engagement at Vision Australia
• Neil Jacobson – Founder & CEO of Abilicorp
• Arlene Mayerson – Attorney at the Disability Rights
Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
• Marlee Matlin – Academy Award & Golden Globe Award-
winning Actress
• Ron McCallum – Emeritus Professor at Monash University
• Thomas Porter – Volunteer at Walter Reed Army Medical
• Susan Sygall - Co-founder & CEO of Mobility International
• Yevgeniy Tetyukhin – Professor at the Petropavlovsk North
Kazakhstan State University
• Mary Verdi-Fletcher – President & Founding Artistic Director
of Dancing Wheels

Established in 1980, Access Living is a non-profit, Chicago-based disability rights and service organization that provides individualized, peer-based services for people with disabilities, and is a nationally recognized change agent at the forefront of the disability rights movement.