Congrats to the 2014 TASH Award Winners!

Each year, TASH honors those whose contributions have advanced equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities, and whose actions set a high standard for human rights every day.  TASH would like to extend a huge thank you to this year’s award winners.  Your hard work and dedication makes a difference!

Alice H. Hayden Emerging Leader Award

The Alice H. Hayden Emerging Leader Award, established in 1978, is in honor of the leadership and inspiration of one of the founding members of TASH. She received international recognition for establishing an early intervention project for infants with Down syndrome. Her curriculum and intervention procedures were replicated in many states, Canada, and Italy, and disproved prevailing views about the hopelessness of this disability. This award is presented to a doctoral student enrolled in a program in education or a related field, and who demonstrates potential for leadership in teaching, scholarship, and service on behalf of people with significant disabilities.

Samantha Goldman, winner of the 2014 Alice H. Hayden Emerging Leader Award, is currently a PhD student in special education at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include families of diverse children with severe special needs, special education advocacy, and parent-school partnerships.

June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Awards

This award is given in honor of June Downing, a long time TASH member, Board of Directors member, author and beloved friend and colleague. June Downing had a profound impact on families, young professionals, educators and individuals with disabilities and her contributions to inclusion will be felt for many years to come. The purpose this award is to honor the important and courageous contributions of individuals and school districts in advancing inclusive education and equitable opportunities for students pre-school through grade 12, particularly those with the most significant disabilities and support needs.

Carolyn Teigland was awarded the 2014 June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Award for her inclusive work as Associate Superintendent for Education Services in the Cecil County Public Schools System. Since 2013, Dr. Teigland has served as Cecil County Public Schools’ c-coordinator for the SWIFT (School-wide Integrated Framework for Transformation) initiative. Dr. Teigland’s commitment and dedication to inclusive education, along with continuous improvement for everyone, is displayed every way, each and every day.

Jahlieh Henderson, special educator at Columbus High School in Columbus, Wisconsin, works primarily with students with significant cognitive disabilities. She was awarded the 2014 June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Award for her work aligning curriculum to the Common Core State Standards as well as the Essential Elements.She works closely with regular educators to ensure instruction is relevant and engaging for students with significant needs.

Larry Clark, Director of the Sedgwick County Area Educational Services Interlocal Cooperative, doesn’t allow a comment such as “that is how we normally do things.”  He believes that every student is unique and that services must be tailored to meet the needs of every student.  He provides encouragement for innovation and allows the staff  to do what is best for students in all environments.

Positive Behavior Support Award

The purpose of the Positive Behavior Support Award is to recognize the significant positive contributions toward developing positive behavior supports in lieu of aversive and coercive strategies for persons with  severe disabilities by honoring an individual who has done important work in this area. Nominations are requested for special educators, family members, researchers, trainers, staff members, self advocates, policy makers, administrators, lawyers, professors, or legislators.

Commissioner Elin Howe exemplifies visionary leadership in the disability field. She Commissioner articulated the shared values, introduced evidence based practices, coaxed participation, and provided resources to make PBS an integral program and cultural component. She gained the support of executive level state officials and legislators who approved new policies, funding and regulatory changes. She helped the disability community coalesce around the principles, concepts, and strategy. Commissioner Howe, winner of the 2014 Positive Behavior Support Award, made a difference.

Positive Images in Media Award

The TASH Positive Images in the Media Award honors presentations in print, film or other forms of media that promote positive images of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. Awardees are recognized for their contribution to the elimination of stereotypes by portraying people with disabilities and their lives accurately with recognition of the complexities of being human. Awardees are requested to have their material available in alternative formats that are optimally accessible to all viewers and participants.

S.C. Pinney was awarded the 2014 Positive Images in the Media Award for his work as playwright for “The Ghosts of Mariposa.” The play touches on themes of friendship, romantic relationship, addiction and authority. By inviting viewers to take the tragic journey of the protagonist, the project aims to move and inspire its audience to assess the well being of disabled individuals they may know and the performance of services that aim to address their needs.

Theresa Vargas, Washington Post journalist, was awarded the 2014 Positive Images in the Media Award for her stories on transgender teens, support groups for individuals in wheelchairs who have survived gun violence, and a courtroom where a woman with Down Syndrome fought for the right to decide how she lives.

Larry J. Brumond Award

The Larry J. Brumond Supportive Relationship award annually honors two individuals who have maintained a mutually supportive relationship for at least five years in which the dreams and aspirations of the support recipient are supported in that person’s chosen home and community. The net result when such a relationship is formed is the fulfillment of two lives: in learning and teaching each other; in discovering better who they each are; and in understanding more deeply how critical relationships are to a satisfying and valued life.

This year’s winners, John Jackson and Steve Schreiber, have been roommates for 20 years. Their relationship has evolved from a starting point where Steve was unsure of how to direct his own life, to one of mutual respect where Steve is comfortable taking the lead. John has been an integral part of Steve’s life and they have both grown from this relationship.