“I learned so much from the 10 years that I worked at Courage Center about peoples’ disabilities and it really reframed the way I look at the world and how I am going to make a difference. . .”
-2010 Charlie Smith Award winner, Steve Kuntz
2010 Charlie Smith Award winner Steve Kuntz and Access Press founding editor Charlie Smith were close friends until Smith’s death. In his speech Nov. 5 Kuntz recalled his friend:
”Charlie really saw the big picture of individuals with disabilities. Yes, there are folks in chairs, folks with visual impairments, folks who are deaf. But there are a myriad of other individuals with disabilities that are not visible, specifically folks with mental health issues. . .
Charlie kept everyone to the mission that every person with a disability is an individual with the right to the same things that every other American has a right to: to live independently, to work. It was no accident that Access Press started the same year as the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Charlie truly saw this as an opportunity to make a difference which he certainly did. . .”
Photos courtesy of Catherine Whipple