United States Senator Bob Casey, Jr. to Receive the Frank Harkin Memorial Award for Second Consecutive Year


Washington, DC, July 6, 2023 – The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has once again chosen United States Senator Bob Casey, Jr. as the recipient of the prestigious Frank Harkin Memorial Award. This esteemed accolade recognizes Senator Casey’s unwavering commitment to advancing the rights and improving the lives of individuals with diverse disabilities throughout his distinguished career.

The Frank Harkin Memorial Award is named after an inspiring individual with a disability who fought for his civil rights long before the enactment of the Rehab Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Frank Harkin’s advocacy efforts left a lasting impact and informed his brother, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, about the challenges faced by people with disabilities and the importance of fighting for their rights.

NCIL’s Board President, Kent Crenshaw, praised Senator Casey, stating, “His dedication to inclusive policies, unwavering support for disability rights legislation, and tireless advocacy for Independent Living have profoundly transformed the lives of countless individuals with disabilities.”

Theo Braddy, NCIL’s Executive Director and a person living with a disability, highlighted Senator Casey’s instrumental role in promoting accessible healthcare, employment opportunities, and education for people with disabilities. Braddy emphasized that the passage of the HCBS Access Act and the Better Care Better Jobs Act, which Senator Casey continues to champion, will positively impact the lives of millions of Americans living with disabilities.

NCIL has enjoyed a longstanding collaboration with Senator Casey and is delighted to honor him once again through this well-deserved award.

Senator Casey has been invited to attend the Annual Awards Luncheon scheduled on July 25, 2023, from 12 PM to 1:30 PM at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC. Previous attendees at the event have been privileged to hear from Senator Casey, and his presence is highly anticipated this year as well.

Furthermore, alongside the presentation of the Frank Harkin Memorial Award at the Awards Luncheon, several other distinguished leaders will be honored with prestigious awards. These include the President’s Award, the Diana Viets Memorial Award, the Corey Rowley National Advocacy Award, the Max Starkloff Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Judy Heumann Advocacy Award.

Hundreds of people with disabilities will gather at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Wednesday, July 26 at 9:30 AM to begin a March to the Capitol. Once reaching their destination immediately North of the Capitol Reflecting Pool, NCIL will host a Rally between 11:00 AM and 12 noon.

After the rally, NCIL attendees will engage with congressional representatives to advocate for increased funding for Centers for Independent Living, the passage of the HCBS Access Act and Better Care Better Job Act, and more real-time funding to better serve people with disabilities during disasters.

Once again, NCIL extends heartfelt congratulations to Senator Casey for receiving this prestigious award for two consecutive years. We express our deep appreciation for his invaluable contributions to the disability community, and we eagerly look forward to his presence at the conference.

About NCIL:

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Established in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals, including individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations advocating for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities across the United States.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Theo Braddy, Executive Director

National Council on Independent Living

Phone: 202.864.4220, ext. 1104

Email: [email protected]