Move to Include Awards – 2015

The Golisano Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2015 Move to Include Awards. The Award is given to those who both "believe" and "act" in the purest realm of the essence of "move to include."

The awards will be presented October 15, 2015 at the Foundation's 30th Anniversary Celebration. The event is by invitation only.

About the Award

2015 Recipients

Julie J. Christensen, PhD, LMSW

Director of Employment Programs for the University of Rochester Medical Center, Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, for expanding workforce development opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities through the Project Search program and other initiatives. Read more

Rick Guidotti

Founder and Director of Positive Exposure for his work internationally in raising public awareness and educating people to understand and see the beauty in human diversity and our shared humanity. Read more

Daniel M. Meyers

President of Al Sigl Community of Agencies, for a lifetime commitment and achievement on behalf of people with intellectual and other disabilities. Read more

Martha Mock, PhD

Associate Professor and Director, Institute for Innovative Transition at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education for increasing college options for students with intellectual disabilities. Read more

Joseph A .Ruffalo

President and Chief Executive Officer of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for providing model, innovative community-based integrated health services for people with intellectual disabilities. Read more

Shirley F. Szekeres, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Director of the York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute at Nazareth College, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and former Dean of the School of Health and Human Services for her commitment and contributions to educate and train the next generation of health clinicians and human service professionals to serve people with disabilities. Read more

About the Award

An Award that challenges its very name

Samuel Beckett, the novelist and poet observed, “Words are all we have.” If that is true then we need to be mindful of those we use.

The disability field is fond of the word “include,” believing it refers to society embracing and celebrating value in human diversity. The reality is that the word is derived from the Latin word meaning “to shut in, enclose.” It can mean to “make room for,” “take into account,” “work in,” “accommodate,” and “admit.” All of which, does not describe the Golisano Foundation’s Move to Include Award.

This Award is not given to individuals and organizations that strive to “fit people in,” and “make room” for people with intellectual disabilities. The Award is not intended to honor the movement to include people despite their disabilities; and certainly not because of their disabilities

The Golisano Move to Include Award was designed to demonstrate that inclusion should never be an afterthought, a "make room" effort or a "do over" effort in social justice. The Award points out that in our society there are individuals and organizations that understand that inclusion, true inclusion is not something that is created through a mission statement, a tagline or a bumper sticker. The Move to Include Award celebrates the "movement" - the arduous and tenacious movement - that strives to embrace people, not as an afterthought, and equally important to move the psyche of individuals, systems, communities and societies that will one day eliminate the need to offer awards noteworthy for succeeding in “allowing people; people with novelties” to be welcomed into the fold.

We do not learn anything by simply “including,” “allowing,“ or “permitting” others to live and work alongside of us. We do not profit or grow by “accepting,” or even “welcoming” people with disabilities.

We, as a neighborhood, community and society learn, grow and profit by “believing” in the sanctity, value and merit of “together.” The essence of “together” transcends “inclusion.” The Golisano Award belongs to those who believe that being together, not by mandate, statute or fiat; is the only way we can benefit from the joys, challenges and perspectives that “believing in being together” can be promoted and realized.

The Golisano Move to Include Award is given to those who both “believe” and “act” in the purest realm of the essence of “move to include.” It is given in the hope that the understanding of “include” can be elevated, promoted, ingrained and demonstrated at the highest levels of human behavior.

Award narrative written by Rick Rader, MD, Co-Founder, American Association of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry