Last week I received the California Psychological Association's (CPA) Distinguished Humanitarian Contribution Award. Below is the transcript of my speech, and a video of the speech itself:
" I am truly honored and humbled to be receiving this humanitarian award from CPA. Thank you to the Award and Nomination committee. I have to say that this award does just recognize my work, it recognizes my mentors and CPA for teaching me how to bridge the world of psychology and advocacy. It recognizes the APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, who empower me to use my words, my voice, and to challenge the status quo. It's to recognize my colleagues, especially Dr. Haldeman and Yokoyama who on a daily basis validate my lived experience. It's to my students for inspiring me to be creative and to think outside the box. It's to my team of assistants who have to manage my hectic schedule. 80 hours a week I work. And to my family, who put up with my ideas and who are my biggest cheerleaders... because of all of you I am able to be an agent of change in a system where oppression and stigmatization still occur for people with disabilities. Physical access is not enough. Transformation to equality will only occur when there is a fundamental paradigm shift from viewing disability as less than or as charity to valuing disability an asset. For me this award symbolizes the continuing and ongoing investment we as a field of psychologists owe the disability community: to be perceived as a group of people who deserve our investment."