Each year Disability Network Southwest Michigan honors individuals and organizations in the community who have made a significant contribution to the disability community and to the mission of the organization. The Jim Neubacher Lifetime Achievement Award honors a person with or without a disability who has promoted the needs of people with disabilities over a lifetime. The award is given in memory of the late Jim Neubacher, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press who wrote about inclusion and civil rights of people with disabilities.
This year’s Jim Neubacher Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to RoAnne Chaney. Ms. Chaney recently retired as Executive Director of Michigan Disability Rights Coalition where she provided outstanding leadership in a variety roles since 1997. Chaney has been a tireless advocate of the Olmsted Coalition in Michigan ensuring the choice for people with disabilities to live in their community. Chaney began her work in disability rights leadership in the role of Associate Director at the Center for Independent Living in Ann Arbor where she worked for ten years providing people with disabilities options to leave nursing facilities to live in the community.
Joel Cooper, President and CEO at Disability Network Southwest Michigan said, “RoAnne has worked with disability policy and health care issues for 30 years focusing on advocacy and provision of long term community supports, nursing facility transition, community inclusion, assistive technology and encouraging active participant involvement in the disability rights movement.”