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Advocates in Disability Award Winners


Anya Carrillo

As the 2017 recipient of the Advocates in Disability Award, Anya will go to the Hopi Reservation and speak to youth and young adults about disabilities. She’s working to connect Native youth with services and provide resources to make more support available on reservations. By holding trainings on self-identity, self-advocacy and self-determination, Anya hopes to raise awareness about negative stigmas within the disability community. Read more about Anya Carrillo and her advocacy work »


Sara Luterman

Sara Luterman’s dedication to disability awareness in journalism began when she was diagnosed with Autism after graduating from the University of Maryland with a graduate degree in creative writing. By creating NOS Magazine, a blog about neurodiversity news, culture and representation, Luterman’s initiative gives people with disabilities a platform to share their stories. Read more about Sara Luterman and her project »


Odunola Ojewumi

Diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and the recipient of both a heart and kidney transplant, Odunola Ojewumi works to create avenues for higher education for people with disabilities. Her initiative, Project ASCEND, will provide financial assistance to college students with disabilities and lobby to improve the public education system. Read more about Odunola Ojewumi »


Alexander Freeman

Alexander, who was born with cerebral palsy, is a writer, producer, director, and editor of short and feature documentary and narrative films. Developed through his ADA award, his newest project is a documentary titled The Wounds We Cannot See that explores sexual assault in the military, addiction, depression, PTSD and one woman’s daily choice between living as a victim or a survivor. Learn more about Alexander's story »


Henry "Hoby" Wedler

Henry is the founder of Accessible Science, a nonprofit organization that teaches blind and visually impaired students that they can succeed at scientific careers through an annual Chemistry Camp. He used the $7,000 award for the camp to use organic chemistry to show students that eyesight is not required to study seemingly visual subjects. Learn more about Henry and his project »


Dominga Noe

Dominga has been an advocate for people with Marfan syndrome, a genetic condition that affects connective tissue, since her middle teens. Her project spread awareness of Marfan’s by custom decorating tennis shoes. Watch a video about Dominga’s experiences »

Previous Award Winners

  • 2011 - Trenton Gilstrap
  • 2010 - Lacy Pittman
  • 2009 - Ryan Lamke
  • 2008 - Tatyana McFadden, Erin Thompson, Ari Ne'eman
  • 2007 - Robert Henry, David Liddel, Stacy Cervenka