About this Award
SAIPA inspires people with developmental disabilities to drive change in their communities as engaged and empowered citizens. We know that we cannot do our work alone. This award recognizes the time, dedication and commitment of businesses, individuals, organizations, families and staff who help people with disabilities become engaged in the community through opportunity, skill development and advocacy. Since this award was created in 2008, we have had the privilege of honouring seven allies. Nominations are open during the first three months of the year; winners are chosen by SAIPA’s Board of Directors.
Who can be nominated?
The nominee can be a business, family, organization or support staff. Self-nominations are not accepted. The nominee is someone who supports individuals to speak on their own behalf, and:
- Has a deep understanding of the history, philosophy and support of self-advocacy
- Is an approachable resource and support system to people with disabilities
- Motivates and encourages people with disabilities to learn leadership skills
- Listens to people with disabilities and respects differing points of view or choices
- Tries to help explain things to advocates so they are better understood
- Is sensitive to issues and helps problem-solve
- Treats people with disabilities as adults and with respect
- Is involved in the community, promoting inclusion of all citizens
Nominations for this award open in January and are typically presented in the spring.
2016 Ally Recognition Award Winner: Vern Rowley
SAIPA was proud to present Vern with this award. Vern has been a long-time ally in the community, supporting people with disabilities to be fully included in the community. Vern often drives advocates to meetings, appointments and anywhere else they need to go. Vern is always there to lend a hand, even as early as 8:30 in the morning. Vern treats advocates with kindness and respect, always making them feel like valuable and contributing citizens. Anyone who knows Vern knows he has a huge heart!
“We are all valuable on this earth and we should all feel that we are important,” says Vern. “I feel honoured to serve and assist people with disabilities be a part of the community.”