Zolinda Stoneman Receives "Heart of Gold" Award (Institute on Human Development & Disability: GA UCEDD)

April 16, 2008

Zo Stoneman

Zolinda Stoneman is being honored as the 2008 Heart of Gold Award recipient, awarded by the Atlanta Alliance on Developmental Disabilities (AADD) to Georgians whose hearts have led them to work that has significantly improved the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

Quote From Mary Yoder, AADD Executive Director, Re: Dr. Zolinda Stoneman being named recipient of AADD's 2008 Heart of Gold Award:

"She's a quiet pioneer -- a gentle revolutionary -- who has created earth-shaking improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. We are delighted to honor Dr. Zo Stoneman, whose low-key, gentle, and determined approach to research on issues affecting people with developmental disabilities has had, and continues to have, a positive and revolutionary impact on laws, public policy, and public perception of people with developmental disabilities. Her decades of work devoted to keeping families together, ending institutionalization, and sharing a vision of fully inclusive communities, have forever changed life for families living with developmental disabilities.

We honor Zo for her many national and international accomplishments (more than 100 books, book chapters, and research articles; more than 150 presentations of her research at conferences throughout the world!), and applaud her current work documenting the transition of children from institutions and nursing homes into loving, permanent families.

Equally as invaluable, AADD is grateful for a long-standing and ongoing relationship with Dr. Stoneman and her colleagues at the University of Georgia. Zo's leadership, her innate ability to bring together policymakers, advocates, families, and practitioners, and her willingness to take on oftentimes unglamorous, but none-the-less groundbreaking work, empowers and inspires us -- and no doubt and thousands of her colleagues and former students -- on a daily basis.

It is impossible to overstate Dr. Stoneman's collective impact on public policy, or to assign a value to the love, dignity, and respect shared between neighbors and friends, brothers and sisters, parents and their children, that Dr. Zolinda Stoneman has helped to make possible."


Other distinguished winners include Sue Jamieson and Governor Roy Barnes! The awards will be presented at the Heart of Gold Annual Awards Banquet on May 8, 2008.