Since 1999, the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights has been pleased to present the Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights. Each year, the award is presented to an individual or an organization/group for performing exemplary service in furthering the rights, dignity, and access to justice for people with disabilities.
Paul G. Hearne, the award’s namesake, was an activist, philanthropist, and a leader for all people with disabilities and a pioneer in advancing their cause. Hearne's tenacity, intelligence and initiative helped him create many opportunities for people with disabilities. He served as the director of Just One Break, Inc., the nation’s first private job placement agency for people with disabilities; the National Council on Disability; the Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities; the International Center for the Disabled; the Very Special Arts International Fund; and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. The Commission awards this prestigious honor to one who carries on Hearne’s vision and life work.
Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis.