City Recognizes 2010 Disability Advisory Commission Achievement Award Winners

Each year, the City of Fresno Disability Advisory Commission (DAC) recognizes an individual and an organization that have improved the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in Fresno. This year, the winner of the DAC’s individual Achievement Award is Ms. Rosemary Diaz. The winner of the DAC’s Achievement Award for an organization is Fresno City College Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S).

Ms. Diaz is recognized for her advocacy on behalf of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. She is the current president of the board of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center (DHHSC). In addition, Ms. Diaz is a certified deaf interpreter, an instructor at California State University, Fresno in deaf education and deaf studies, and the former executive director of DHHSC.

Ms. Diaz has developed programs to address sexual assault and domestic violence within the deaf community, trained first responders to better serve the deaf and hard of hearing, and volunteered extensively, including serving as a member of the Fresno County ADA Advisory Committee. She will receive the DAC Achievement Award at the October 28 meeting of Fresno City Council.

The Fresno City College Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP&S) office is being recognized for enduring contributions to the educational achievement of individuals with disabilities in Fresno. DSP&S was established in 1970 to provide supportive services for students with learning, physical and/or psychological disabilities. It became a landmark program as Fresno City College earned the status of being the first community college in California to offer a comprehensive disabled students program.

DSP&S currently serves more than 2,300 residents of the greater Fresno area. Dr. Janice Emerzian, District Director of Disabled Students Programs and Services for the State Center Community College District, will accept the DAC Achievement Award at the November 4 City Council meeting.

“It is an honor to recognize the achievements of Ms. Diaz and the DSP&S program,” said DAC Chair Rachelle Taylor. “We look forward to their continued service to our community.”