Voorhees Resident Receives Award for Advocacy Efforts -cnbnews.net
Monday, July 11, 2011
Voorhees, N.J., resident Nikos Pappas accepts a statewide award for advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities. He’s flanked by Dan Keating (left) and Kathy Ross (right) of Haddonfield-based Bancroft, and self-advocate Victoria Brown.
Haddonfield, NJ —July 6, 2011 — Nikos Pappas of Voorhees was recently honored for his advocacy work on behalf of people with disabilities.
Pappas, 46, was recognized by the New Jersey Association of Community Providers (NJACP), at its 12th Annual Community Stars Awards Dinner this month in Princeton.
Pappas lives in a Voorhees apartment with support from Bancroft, a leading service provider for people with neurological challenges. He has long worked to increase community involvement and respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Over the years, Mr. Pappas has demonstrated leadership and personal strength in his work in support of the developmental disabilities community,” stated Bancroft staff member Michael Rogers. “He has exemplified the philosophy of community integration and self-direction in both his personal life and in his advocacy work. Furthermore, he has taken an active role in positively influencing services and policies that benefit not just him, but many others.”
Among his recent self-advocacy accomplishments, Pappas:
· Advocated tirelessly for the new state law that eliminated the “r-word” and other outdated language from New Jersey regulations and statutes (bill S1982).
· Testified before the N.J. Senate Budget Committee this year and in 2010 against state budget cuts to community programs for people with disabilities, helping individuals move from state developmental centers into the community.
· Took part in local meetings of New Jersey’s Statewide Self-Advocacy Network, which addresses the rights of all New Jersey residents with disabilities.
· Serves as an elected officer of Bancroft’s Self-Advocacy Focus Group. In this role, Pappas has helped give presentations at New Jersey Self-Advocacy State Conferences on improving communication with support people, equal rights of people with disabilities, and what families, friends and support people should know about self-advocacy.
Over the last two decades, Pappas has overcome many challenges to become an independent self-advocate, Rogers notes.
“He has acquired all the abilities necessary to live independently in the community, with minimal supports. Today, he balances a full agenda of meaningful work, socializing with family and friends, volunteering in support of self-advocacy activities, and more.”
Pappas works at BOSS, a Bancroft-operated printing and copy center in Voorhees, and for the organization’s rug-cleaning service.
For more information on Bancroft, visit www.bancroft.org or call (800) 774-5516.