Rahnee Patrick (IL UCEDD CAC Member) Receives the 2008 Paul G. Hearne/American Association of People with Disabilities Leadership Award

August 26, 2008

Rahnee Patrick
Rahnee Patrick

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has announced that a national advisory committee has selected Rahnee K. Patrickt to receive the 2008 Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Award. AUCD member, Rahnee K. Patrick is from Chicago, Illinois, a young disability rights movement organizer, a young leader whose work and influence within corporate America is helping people with disabilities to find employment. She is particularly passionate in working to help youth and students with disabilities, will each receive cash awards of $10,000 to further their work in the disability community.

"The disability movement needs leaders who can take our message to classrooms, to corporate boardrooms, to the streets, to our youth, to elected officials and to the media. The two individuals selected for the Hearne Award this year are breaking down barriers and building bridges in very different settings, but with common goals," said AAPD President and CEO Andrew J, Imparato. "I commend Brett Eisenberg and Rahnee Patrick for their leadership, their creativity and their passion, and look forward to working with them to enhance the power and visibility of the disability community in the years to come."

Rahnee Patrick joined Access Living, a leading disability advocacy organization run by people with disabilities, in Chicago, Illinois in 2002, and since mid-2004 has been the organization's Youth and Education Team Leader. In this capacity, she addresses equal educational access for students with disabilities in Chicago Public Schools and the holistic well being of youth with disabilities, including their self-esteem, sexual health, and the development of leadership, and self-advocacy.

Patrick came to Chicago from northern Indiana, where she was highly involved in the disability rights movement. In 1992, she was a disabled student leader for Students Together Able and Respected (STAAR) at Indiana University South Bend, where she earned her B. A. with a minor in Women's Studies.

In 2006, Patrick organized the first national ADAPT Youth Summit, an initiative to ensure youth with disabilities use direct action tactics and to keep ADAPT alive in the next generations of disability rights.

Patrick currently serves as the co-leader of Chicago ADAPT, and is an active member of Not Dead Yet and co-founder of Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA). She is an award-winning writer and writes about issues around disability, race and women. She also is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking (1997) and the New Leadership Development Advocacy Training (1999.)

The 2008 Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Award recipients were selected on a highly competitive basis by a national advisory committee. This program carries on the work of AAPD founder Paul Hearne, a renowned leader in the national disability community, and to realize his goal of cultivating emerging disability rights leaders.