Emmett Hanger wins Legislative Advocate of the Year honor

Emmett HangerThe Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs recently recognized State Sen. Emmett Hanger with its 2019 Legislative Advocate of the Year Award for his leadership and legislative efforts to make a difference in the lives of Virginians with disabilities and their families.

The award was presented during the association’s recent statewide conference in Virginia Beach.

The Legislative Advocate of the Year Award recognizes an individual whose outstanding efforts on behalf of individuals and veterans with disabilities merits special recognition. Efforts on behalf of this individual must have resulted in improved and expanded services for citizens with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“We honor Senator Hanger for not only his work during the 2019 General Assembly but his long history of more than a decade of sponsoring key legislation and patroning various budget amendments on behalf of Virginians with disabiliti:es including Veterans with disabilities” stated vaACCSES Executive Director Karen Tefelski. “His consistent leadership has made a real difference in the everyday lives of individuals with disabilities to live in communities of their choice and work in jobs that they choose”.

Overall, Senator Hanger was recognized as a long-term champion of sound public policy that provides a full array of service options and opportunities that enable individuals with disabilities and their loved ones to choose the services that best meet their needs in order to live and work within their communities across the Commonwealth.

“Jobs are a priority in Virginia. Jobs for Virginians with disabilities must also be a priority. But, almost 70% of Virginians with disabilities are without jobs. Like ALL Virginians – they want the opportunity to work, to earn wages, to purchase goods and services in their communities, and to become self-supporting tax-payers,” stated Senator Hanger. “Individuals with developmental and other disabilities have the ability and the desire to seek employment, earn wages, pay taxes, purchase consumable goods and services in their communities and have the economic opportunity to become self-supporting, “ stated Senator Hanger. “Despite the positive impact of employment, individuals with disabilities have the highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth and the rate continues to rise. The hiring of Virginians with disabilities is not only vital to individual human potential but also represents a viable business solution to meet the demands of an aging and retiring workforce. We must do all that we can to support employment for individuals and veterans with disabilities in the Commonwealth.”



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