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The Arc of Philadelphia Announces Annual Eleanor Elkin Award: William Del Toro Vargas To Receive Prestigious Commendation for Disability Advocacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Johnson
215.229.4550 x 130

May 18, 2016
The Arc of Philadelphia Announces Annual Eleanor Elkin Award: William Del Toro Vargas To Receive Prestigious Commendation for Disability Advocacy

The Arc of Philadelphia announced today that William Del Toro Vargas will receive the organization’s top honor: The Eleanor Elkin Award.

The Eleanor Elkin Award is offered each year by The Arc of Philadelphia to an individual whose work carries on Ms. Elkin’s advocacy for the disability community. Ms. Elkin served in her long career as president of both The Arc of the United States and The Arc of Pennsylvania. She was also active in the movement to close Pennhurst and move people with developmental disabilities out of institutions.

William Del Toro Vargas is the lead Legislative Advocate for the #IWantToWork campaign. Will, a pre-law student at Temple University, has advocated tirelessly for the passage of “Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities.” The legislation will ensure the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation is fully funded, drawing $10.5 million in federal funds that are available for Pennsylvania, which will allow OVR to help teenagers get paid, integrated summer and out of school employment.

“Del Toro has been at the forefront in Pennsylvania of fighting for employment for youth with disabilities,” explained Tanya Regli, Executive Director of the Arc of Philadelphia. “His personal journey as a self advocate is a poignant and remarkable testament to the courage it takes to overcome the obstacles to employment for people with disabilities.

The award will be conferred during the Arc of Philadelphia’s annual membership event, which will take place on May 21, 2016 at the Temple Administrative Services Building at 2450 West Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19129

For more information about this event, or the award, please contact Lisa Johnson at ljohnson@arcphiladelphia.org or 215-229-4550 extension 130.