The Tom Nerney Lifetime Achievement Award: Patricia Carver

I am nominating Pat Carver for the Tom Nerney Lifetime Achievement Award. The two of us worked together for The Center for Self-Determination for several years, and we both had the honor and privilege of working with Tom on several projects.

Pat is one of the most compassionate, caring and intelligent advocates I've ever met. She has worked tirelessly for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, never, ever wavering on what she believes -- that people with disabilities deserve the same freedoms and rights as everyone else.

Pat, who has a brother with a disability, knows firsthand what it's like to support someone and help them live a life of inclusion. Pat challenges the "norms" and the "standards" and makes all of us think deeply about why it's critically important to treat people with dignity and respect. She is never afraid to challenge people and question motives, always keeping the person at the forefront of all that she does. Pat looks at the person, the ability.

Tom laid the groundwork for advocates, Pat has done and continues to do the work. The world is absolutely a better place because of Tom and Pat. No one is more deserving of this award. I only wish Tom were here to see her win it.

(Patricia was nominated 12 times for this award. You can read all her nominations here.)