HRD Alum Karl Hearne earns Houston Mayor's Office of Disabilities "Care Award"

Nearly 20 percent of Americans have some level of disability according to data released by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau on March 16, 2001. In an effort to raise awareness about disability employment issues and promote positive perceptions about the diverse contributions and abilities of America's workers with disabilities, the City of Houston's Department of Neighborhoods/Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and its community partners launched their 3rd Annual Disability Employment Awareness Month celebration on October 7, with a COT alumnus among those honored.

Karl A. Hearne, M.S. Human Resources Development, 2010, Assistant to the Vice President for Community Relations and Institutional Access, Division of the UH Chancellor/President, was among the four honorees. "I am truly grateful for this recognition of my unyielding commitment to overcome adversity and beat the odds of being physically handicapped," said Hearne.

This year's campaign theme is, "Synergy for Inclusion." In addition to honoring some outstanding individuals with disabilities, this event acknowledged those persons and agencies/organizations who/that have stepped up to the plate to level the playing field for disabled citizens by addressing and removing barriers; providing programs/ services and offering employment opportunities.

"This event's goal was to highlight the abilities of Houston's disabled citizens," said Catherine Flowers, Department of Neighborhoods director in a recent press release. "As noted by our theme, we believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to participate fully within our economic communities and that is why we work to remove physical and attitudinal barriers throughout the greater Houston community."