Vermont Pair Receive Larry J. Brummond Supportive Relationship Award

Andreas Yuan (left) and Jason Guymon (right) receive TASH's Larry J. Brummond Supportive Relationship Award

Andreas Yuan (left) and Jason Guymon (right) receive TASH’s Larry J. Brummond Supportive Relationship Award, which recognizes the right of people with disabilities to live where and with whom they choose and be fully included in their communities

WASHINGTON (November 11, 2013) – TASH, a nonprofit advocate for inclusion and the human rights of people with significant disabilities, will recognize Andreas Yuan and Jason Guymon for their remarkable and supportive relationship. The two will receive the Larry J. Brummond Supportive Relationship Award during this year’s TASH Conference, December 11, 2013, in Chicago, Ill.

The Larry J. Brummond Award recognizes the right for people with disabilities to live in homes of their choosing, with whom they choose and where they prefer to reside. The award, given annually, honors two people who have maintained a mutually supportive relationship, in which the aspirations of the support recipient are honored and upheld in their chosen home and community.

Andreas and Jason have shared a life together for more than eight years. What began as a home placement job to support Andreas collaboratively with his family, grew quickly and magically into an inseparable bond. Andreas, who experiences multiple challenges due to disabilities, considers Jason to be much more than staff. He’s a friend, and a constant companion.

“There hasn’t ever been someone else into giving that like he has,” said Andreas, who types using Facilitated Communication. “Sitting here typing this makes memories we have together. This is why I work so hard to say things in their special way to honor our connection with living together.”

Andreas is fully involved in his multiple communities: neighborhood, work and advocacy. He and Jason make use of recreational opportunities, entertainment and shopping. Jason also works as a bouncer at a club, and Andreas posts flyers for club event. The two take the opportunity to advise businesses and concert managers on accessibility (they setup a small business consulting on accessibility for rock festivals). And they see a lot of concerts.

“This award is an honor that can only be described as ‘profound.’ Andreas and I have cared for each other for many years now, and our love and respect for each other is what makes it work for us,” said Jason, who notes the entire community has helped make the relationship a success. “As I supported Andreas, our friends and neighbors support me, and in the end that is what makes it work and feel so satisfying.”

Andreas and Jason regularly discuss their relationship at conference and events that help families, self-advocates and support providers better understand community inclusion, advocacy and the interdependence of self-determination. They will be on-hand at the TASH Conference this December 11-14, 2013, in Chicago, Ill., to be recognized.

The Larry J. Brummond Supportive Relationship Award was first presented in 2007 to the award’s namesake, Larry J. Brummond, along with Thomas Ryan. At the time, Larry and Thomas had known one another for more than 21 years, 17 of which Larry was the primary support person in Thomas’ life. The award program was created to recognize the right for people with disabilities to live in homes of their choosing, with whom they choose and where they prefer to reside.

Learn more about building supportive relationships and community inclusion for people with significant disabilities, at http://tash.org. Find more information about this year’s TASH Conference at http://tash.org/2013tash.

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About TASH

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, TASH is an international grassroots leader in advancing inclusive communities through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1975, we are a volunteer-driven organization that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with the most significant disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect and institutionalization. The inclusive practices we validate through research have been shown to improve outcomes for all people. More information about TASH can be found at www.tash.org.

2013 TASH Conference

For more than 37 years, the TASH Conference has impacted the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders in the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. The 2013 TASH Conference will be held December 11-14 in Chicago, Ill., at the Hilton Chicago. Learn more at http://tash.org/2013tash.

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