Unbreakable Spirit Awards

We are proud to honor the following outstanding individuals with Unbreakable Spirit Awards, in recognition of their notable contributions to improving the lives of people with OI and other disabilities through legislation, education, philanthropy, awareness building, and/or other forms of service.


2006 Award Recipients

Government Service

Bob Dole Receiving Unbreakable Spirit Award

Senator Bob Dole
Senator Bob Dole
has spent his career working to improve the lives and independence of people with disabilities. In 1983, he created the Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities, and he tapped a member of our community, Paul Hearne, to lead it from 1989 until Paul’s untimely death in 1998.

In addition, the Robert Dole Scholarship Fund for Disabled Students has recently been established in his honor at the United Negro College Fund. Most famously, Senator Dole co-authored the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), historic legislation that protects the civil rights of millions of Americans with physical and mental disabilities.




Community Service

Andrew Imparato Receiving Unbreakable Spirit Award

Andrew J. Imparato
Andrew J. Imparato
 is the first full-time President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), a national non-profit membership organization for political and economic empowerment of all people with disabilities. Imparato, whose perspective is informed by his own experience with bipolar disorder, is frequently called upon to write, speak, or provide testimony about disability issues. 

Through AAPD and his experience with the National Council on Disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy, Mr. Imparato has shaped policies from inside and outside the government that are helping to realize the promise of Americans with disabilities.


Public Awareness

Discovery Receiving Unbreakable Spirit Award

Discovery Communications, Inc.
Discovery Communications, Inc.
, ran a documentary about OI in both the US and Canada (Brittle Bones, A Genetic Mystery and Children of Glass, respectively) that opened a floodgate of publicity for OI in mainstream media. Since that documentary, OI has been featured in a wide variety of broadcast and cable programming. Discovery has also featured OI in its programs, Rare Disorders and Medical Mysteries, and referenced OI in a number of other medical programs during the past three years.
Extreme Makover Receiving Unbreakable Spirit Award

ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
In November 2004, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition aired an episode in which an accessible home was created for 6-year-old Ben, who has moderate OI, and his family in southern California.  OI community member and architect, Karen Braitmayer, FAIA, and the Foundation worked closely with ABC executives and the show’s producers while designing modifications for the home. Because a portion of each episode includes a description of hardships the family faces and how the makeover will make a difference for them, millions of viewers learned about the impact of life with OI. 

The design team includes team leader and carpenter Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo (carpentry/attitude), Paige Hemmis (carpentry/nut & bolts), Michael Moloney (interiors/glamour), Constance Ramos (building/planning), Ed Sanders (construction), Preston Sharp (exteriors/big ideas), Tracy Hutson (shopping/style) and Eduardo Xol (landscaping).  New designers joining this year are Tanya McQueen (interiors) and Daniel Kucan (furniture maker/interiors).

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