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Reprinted from PN September 2001
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Hundreds of children and adults with disabilities may soon be on their way to living with greater independence thanks to Johnson & Johnson's Pathways to Independence program, which recently awarded grants totaling $100,000 to four local Easter Seals organizations. Established in partnership with Easter Seals, Johnson & Johnson's grant program was created to support and recognize programs that improve access to rehabilitation and medical care. Contact: Easter Seals, (312) 551-7147, or Johnson & Johnson, (732) 524-3698.

Richard M. Romley, an attorney who lost both legs during the Vietnam War, is the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year for 2001.

Recognized as one of Arizona's most respected leaders, Romley is Maricopa County attorney; this area includes Phoenix. He is nationally known as a leader in criminal justice and community improvement-related issues. Severely wounded by an enemy land mine in spring 1969 while serving with the U.S. Marines south of Da Nang, Vietnam, Romley spent the next year in military hospitals in the Philippines, Japan, San Diego, and Oak Knoll, outside San Francisco, where he was fitted with prosthetics. Contact: Disabled American Veterans, (859) 441-7300 / 442-2090 (fax) /

During a United Nations ceremony on July 2, the Crown Princess of the Kingdom of Thailand, Maha Chakri Sirindhorm, accepted the fifth annual Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award on behalf of her country. This honor, sponsored by the World Committee on Disability and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, is presented annually to a nation that makes noteworthy progress toward the goal of the United Nations World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons: the full and equal participation of the world?s 600 million people with disabilities. The award consists of a bust of President Roosevelt and a $50,000 cash prize for a nongovernmental disability organization in the honored nation. This year the cash prize went to Ratchasuda College for the Disabled. And, for the first time, the award also included a gift of 1,000 wheelchairs to Thailand from Kenneth Behring, Wheelchair Foundation founder. Thailand?s numerous programs to assimilate Thai citizens with disabilities are detailed at Contact: World Committee on Disability, (202) 955-6327 /

Because he has spina bifida and walks with crutches and leg braces, Chris Grandle wasn't sure he could be an effective Big Brother. But three years after a co-worker urged him to enlist in the mentoring program, Grandle has been recognized as Big Brother of the Year. Adding to that honor, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) presented Grandle and his Central Blue Ridge, Va., chapter with the National Organization on Disability/Aetna Award for Inclusion of People with Disabilities for showing that this population can serve as model volunteers and mentors. Contact: National Organization on Disability, (202) 293-5960 /

The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) has awarded $392,184 in Quality of Life Grants to 34 organizations to conduct programs that help improve opportunities, access, and day-to-day quality of life for families and individuals with disabilities.

The grants, awarded twice yearly, recognize programs nationwide that enable people with disabilities to live independent, active lives. The following six organizations received $25,000 CRPF grants: Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled (Anaheim, Calif.); Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (Jackson Heights, N.Y.); Just One Break, Inc. (New York); SCI Special Fund (Irvine, Calif.); St. Andrews Presbyterian College (Laurinburg, N.C.); and Wheelchair Sports, U.S.A. (Colorado Springs). CRPF awarded 28 additional grants ranging from $4,373 to $20,000, with most organizations receiving $5,000. Contact: CRPF, (800) 225-0292 /


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