Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Award
Each year, individuals, organizations, and businesses within San Luis Obispo County make exemplary contributions of time, energy and talents toward the creation of a barrier-free community for people with disabilities. These individuals, organizations, and businesses are nominated and recognized annually through the Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Award (PWAAA).
The PWAAA Awards ceremony and Access For All Benefit was held on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at the Cal Poly Chumash Auditorium.
2015 Award Winners
Mary "Mae" MacDonald
Mae serves as the organizer for the local Friends of SLO Access group in which most of the participants operate wheelchairs. The group meets monthly to provide an opportunity for the disabled community to socialize and network. Mae creates a warm, inviting atmosphere that helps group members enjoy a positive social experience. She enjoys providing dessert and a warm smile to all that attend. Her husband used to organize the group before his passing, and Mae has continued to organize the group along with Mike Ward in honor of his wishes.
Quality of Life Plus Laboratory
The mission of the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) is to generate and foster innovations to aid and improve the quality of life for those injured in the line of duty. They have been producing projects for wounded veterans since its inception in 2009. They have originated roughly three dozen highly practical and useful solutions for people with disabilities, including SCUBA diving prosthesis, Blind Paddler Guidance System, Artificial Skin Human Touch, Ergo Knife, and more. QL+ provides these custom assistive technology solutions at no cost to people with disabilities thanks to donations and funding from the QL+ program.
Miner's Ace Hardware
The company partnered with the Workability 1 Program managed by the SLO Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) to welcome students with disabilities to promote career awareness and exploration while students complete their secondary education program. Miner’s has been a part of the program for the past 20 years by providing worksite opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience while interacting with the public. The students have growth in self-confidence, responsibility, self-advocacy and independence, and often times they are offered permanent employment.
Spirit of the PWAA Award
Team Joseph is lead by John Cornelius, father to 22 year old Joseph “Joey” Cornelius, who has Cerebral Palsy. Although Joey cannot move himself, he finds pure joy in his dad and Team Joseph participants “running” him in marathons and even triathlons. He is pushed in his adapted stroller during the running portions, pulled in a bike trailer in the cycling sections, and even has an “aqua bullet” that was developed by three Cal Poly engineering students so that Joey can be pulled in a pool. Everyone who comes into contact with Joseph and his Team is deeply affected, motivated and moved. His smile is infectious and his attitude to persevere is inspiring to all. Team Joseph shows that anything is possible with a positive attitude and they are breaking down barriers to prove that everyone can participate and make a difference in our community.
Access For All
This fund supports activities that further the mission of Access for All, a coalition whose mission is to assist in creating an accessible community where people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of SLO County life.
For more information about PWAAA, contact Erin McCall, Program Associate at (805) 543-2323.