Portlight Strategies Presents 'Getting It Right' Award to Sandy NJ Relief Fund
Mark Johnson 'Getting It Right Award' Recognizes Groups Dedicated to Serving the Needs of the Disabled
The Mark Johnson Getting It Right Award
Presented to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund at Portlight Strategies Conference
Weehawkin, NJ June 30, 2014– June 26 and 27, Portlight Strategies hosted its third Getting It Right conference, in Weehawken, New Jersey. At this conference, Portlight presented the Mark Johnson Getting It Right Award to the Robin Hood Foundation and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. The Mark Johnson Getting It Right Award recognizes individuals and organizations who are dedicated to serving the needs of people with disabilities in a way that acknowledges them as whole and independent human beings. These individuals and organizations foster the self-actualization of the disability community, empowering us to act as our own best advocates, and our own best support system. Through their actions and efforts, they help to preserve the dignity of all people, and support and promote community. These two organizations have been essential to the long term recovery work Portlight has been doing in New York and New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy made landfall.
Upon being made aware of Portlight’s inception of the new award, Mark Johnson said, “I'm honored to have people who make a difference be recognized with an award bearing my name.”
Mark Johnson is a man of action, a leader in the disability rights movement for nearly three decades. After a diving accident in 1971 left him with a spinal cord injury, he has dedicated his life to advocating for the civil rights of people with disabilities. In 1983, he, Wade Blank and several others co-founded Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation (ADAPT), a grassroots organization that has become the disability community’s strongest voice for change. He initiated the national Spirit of the ADA Torch Relay to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is currently spearheading the national celebration of the 25th anniversary, through the ADA Legacy Project, which he also helped to launch in 2012. He is currently the Director of Advocacy for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research, and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury and brain injury. Mark has been recognized many times by his peers, receiving, among others, the Betts Award, the Justin Dart Jr. Spirit of ADA and Freedom Awards, the New Mobility Person of the Year Award and the NCIL Distinguished Service Award.
"No significant element or event of the US disability rights movement in the last three decades has passed without Mark Johnson's direct, personal and positive involvement. His impact has been profound. He is a connector, a consensus builder and a community organizer. But, make no mistake: He is also a fierce opponent to those who would stand in the way of equal access and opportunity for our community. The Mark Johnson Getting It Right Award honors organizations and individuals exemplifying Mark's commitment to people with disabilities," stated Paul Timmons, Board Chair of Portlight Strategies, when asked to describe his long-time friend and mentor.
About Portlight Strategies
Portlight Strategies has provided the post-disaster needs of people with disabilities since 1997. Portlight’s mission is filling the disaster related needs of unserved, underserved and forgotten people. We focus on the post disaster needs of those in small towns and rural areas, and all people with disabilities. We host conferences and engage in a variety of community building initiatives involving people with disabilities, especially as relates to disaster situations.