The 2010 Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award


Representative Jan Schakowsky and 2008 Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Award recipient Rahnee K. Patrick.

The Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award is an annual award supported by Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation(MEAF) and AAPD to recognize and honor emerging leaders with disabilities working in the cross-disability civil rights movement. The award is named in honor of Mr. Paul G. Hearne: a pioneer, advocate, activist, and national leader for people with disabilities.

Each year, we select up to two individuals whose work, life, and passion mirrors the life and legacy of Mr. Hearne to receive the annual Paul G.Hearne AAPD Leadership Awards. Hearne Award recipients are featured at the AAPD Leadership Gala in short documentary films chronicling their disability advocacy work. In addition, Hearne Award receipients each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress as leaders and have an opportunity to meet and network with national disability leaders with AAPD. U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply.

AAPD is now accepting applications for the 2011 Hearne Award, to be presented at our 2011 Gala. To apply for the 2011 Hearne Award, please download the application in Word format, complete it electronically, and submit it as an attachment via e-mail to If you have any questions about AAPD's Hearne Award please e-mail us at or call 1-800-840-8844.


The Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award is generously supported by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation(MEAF) and AAPD.

The Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation established The Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards in 1999 to honor their friend and former board member and to help realize Paul's goal of finding and supporting emerging leaders with disabilities. Since 2000, support for the Hearne Leadership Award has been provided by AAPD and MEAF.

Paul G. Hearne was a strong advocate and visionary leader with a lifelong disability who achieved success as a nonprofit executive, foundation president, federal agency director, and mentor to countless people with disabilities. A passionate advocate for increased employment of people with disabilities, Paul opened doors for thousands through his leadership of Just One Break, an employment agency for people with disabilities in New York City, and The Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities in Washington, DC.

Paul shared more than just his expertise while working as an advocate. He shared his wonderful sense of humor and positive outlook on life everyday. Until he died in 1998, Paul was consumed with two burning passions: to create a national association to give people with disabilities more consumer power and a stronger public voice, and to cultivate potential leaders to carry on the disability rights movement. Paul achieved his first goal during his lifetime with the creation of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 1995 which now recognized as the largest and fastest growing force for disability empowerment.

In 2011, MEAF and AAPD will once again recognize those outstanding individuals personifying leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the disability community at large.  Two individuals, who are 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 2011 Hearne Leadership Awards will also have an opportunity to meet and network with national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, DC, March 15, 2011.  U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply. 


**NOTE: The Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award is intended to recognize the outstanding achievements of emerging leaders in the disability community. Unfortunately, at this time AAPD does not offer scholarships, grants, individual funding, or other types of direct financial assistantce to individuals. For more information about scholarships or other types of individual financial support, please visit:**

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