A national organization that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has honored Rochester entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation with its first-ever “Catalyst” award. It was one of 7 awards given out by The Arc in Indianapolis on Monday.
Peter Berns, CEO of the Arc of the United States, says the awards are meant to recognize businesses and organizations that are advancing civil rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“This is an opportunity for us to find like-minded leaders in fields both inside and outside of the Arc network who are trailblazing to make the future more inclusive. “
Golisano Foundation director Ann Costello accepted the award and says she hopes it will help the organization raise awareness about the issue.
“I hope what it will do is shine a spotlight on our work and encourage other foundations, other donors, other people with resources – companies – to join us in our work.”
She hopes it will serve to shine a spotlight on the work they are doing and encourage other groups and individual to get involved in similar work on behalf of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"To provide them with opportunities, to provide them with choices, to allow them to be active in their communities, and to do things that you and I take for granted."
Officials with The Arc said that Golisano has been “a champion” for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and his foundation has donated millions of dollars to that effort.