William & Mary Law Professor Michael Stein is among nine leaders in the global disability community to be honored as inaugural recipients of the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award, The Viscardi Center of New York announced on Monday. The Center created the award "to identify and honor people living with disabilities for their work and influence on the global disability community of more than one billion people."
The selection committee was co-chaired by former U.S. Senator Robert Dole, actress Marlee Matlin and diplomat Luis Gallegos, who is the permanent representative of Ecuador to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
In the press release announcing the inaugural recipients of the award, Stein was hailed as "one of the world's foremost experts on disability and rights. ...[his] research is debunking stereotypes and offering innovative legal strategies and policy ideas that are regularly published in America's prestigious law journals. His work has taken him to Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, and many other nations."
Stein has been a member of the Law School faculty since 2000. He is also the co-founding executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.
Also honored as inaugural Viscardi Award recipients are:
- Laurie Ahern, president of Disability Rights International (Washington, D.C.);
- Rosangela Berman Bieler, senior advisor on Children with Disabilities, UNICEF (New York, NY);
- Tony Coelho, former U.S. representative from California, primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
- Lex Frieden, professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Biomedical Informatics; director, Independent Living Research Utilization Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann;
- Yoav Kraiem, chairman of the National Council for Community Relations - Mental Health (Israel);
- U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin (2nd Congressional District, Rhode Island);
- Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Labor (Washington, D.C.); and
- Patrick D. Rummerfield, community liaison, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy-Krieger Institute (Chesterfield, MO).
To read the honorees' complete biographies, please visit The Viscardi Center website.