Disability Rights Advocates Unveils 2016 Eagle Awardees

“Eagle Awardees model disability inclusion and integration: innovating and setting precedents benefitting the disability community.”
―Mary-Lee Smith, DRA Interim Executive Director

San Francisco, CA—November 3rd, 2016—Today, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), the leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center, announced its 2016 Eagle Awardees: Michael Argenyi and his legal team, Jessica Cox, Nyle DiMarco and the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, and V.R. Ferose and SAP SE. These disability rights Eagles will be awarded and celebrated at the organization’s annual luncheon on November 16th, 2016, 11:30-1:30 pm at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Tickets and event information available at: https://dralegal.org/tickets/

Annually, DRA presents Eagle Awards to businesses, government entities, individuals and organizations who distinguish themselves by actively working to support people with disabilities through: developing and implementing accessibility solutions; changing policies, practices and behaviors to benefit people with disabilities; partnering with the disability community; innovating and setting precedents that influence peers to take similar proactive measures; employing and promoting people with disabilities; and committing resources to support disability-focused organizations. Since DRA’s inception, the organization has awarded more than 50 Eagles: http://dralegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016-EA-History-of-Eagles.pdf

The 2016 eagle awards will be presented to:

  • Dr. Michael Argenyi and his legal team including Marc Charmatz and Caroline Jackson from the National Association of the Deaf, Dianne DeLair from Disability Rights Nebraska and Michael Stein and Mary Vargas from Stein & Vargas, LLP, for their impressive victory resulting in Dr. Argenyi’s graduation from Creighton University. Dr. Argenyi, who is deaf, requested that Creighton University School of Medicine provide him with captioning for lectures and sign language interpreters in clinics. The medical school refused and a five-year legal battle ensued. Today Dr. Argenyi is a deaf doctor doing his residency in Chicago. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/us/deaf-student-denied-interpreter-by-medical-school-draws-focus-of-advocates.html
  • Jessica Cox for her outstanding disability access advocacy. Jessica is the first armless woman to earn a pilot’s certificate and a black belt in Taekwondo. She is a motivational speaker and worked to get the U.S. Senate to pass the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. https://www.jessicacox.com/
  • Nyle DiMarco and the Nyle DiMarco Foundation for their work to advance early language access for Deaf children. Nyle DiMarco is a Deaf model, actor and activist who recently won the popular reality TV competitions Dancing With the Stars and America’s Next Top Model. The Foundation’s goal is to make the world a better place for all Deaf people and their families. https://nyledimarcofoundation.com/about/
  • V.R. Ferose and SAP SE for their innovative Autism at Work program focused on integrating people with autism into the workforce. SAP’s goal is to have 1% of the SAP workforce represented by people on the autism spectrum. http://go.sap.com/corporate/en/company/diversity/differently-abled.html

About Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)

Disability Rights Advocates is the leading non-profit disability rights legal center in the nation. With offices in Berkeley and New York City, DRA’s mission is to advance equal rights and opportunities for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with the full spectrum of disabilities in complex, system-change, class action cases. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to health care, employment, transportation, education, disaster preparedness planning, voting and housing. For more information, visit www.dralegal.org.