2015 Disability Awareness Month Heroes - KPBS
As part of the Union Bank Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Cultural Diversity Partnership Awards and to honor various individuals for the positive contributions and influence they have made to the community.
The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the Cultural Diversity Partnership Awards, which Union Bank sponsors with public television station KPBS. The station will also broadcast video profiles of the honorees throughout its Disability Awareness Month programming the month of October.Congratulations to our 2015 Local Heroes of the Year:
William Stothers, M.A.
Disability Rights Advocate
Cynthia Jones, MDiv
Disability Rights Advocate
Husband-and-wife team William Stothers and Cyndi Jones, who first met at the 1977 White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals, have dedicated their lives to fighting for the rights of the disabled. Together they have worked on many projects to change misconceptions of disabled people as well as coverage by the media. Among their accomplishments is taking over MAINSTREAM magazine whose mission is to promote a broad-based community of people with disabilities and debunking myths of disabled people. The magazine started locally and later broadened internationally with a readership of 50,000. In addition, Ms. Jones and Mr. Stothers established the Center for an Accessible Society (CAS) to work with media on disability issues and to educate the public through other means, such as the Center’s creation of the project, “What’s Next?,” a mentoring program for high school students with physical disabilities.
Ms. Jones, a March of Dimes poster child, is the recipient of the 2011 Lead On Award from Access to Independence and the 2010 Ruby Award 2010 from the Soroptimist International of San Diego. Ms. Jones received her bachelor’s degree from University of California at San Diego and her Master of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Mr. Stothers has served as the Board Chair of Post-Polio Health International and is a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee to the San Diego Unified Port District. He was instrumental in the makeover of San Diego’s downtown waterfront design to provide accessibility and convenience for all visitors. He received his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and his master’s in East Asian history from the University of California, Berkeley.
Stephen J. Wampler
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen J. Wampler Foundation
Stephen J. Wampler is the founder and chief executive officer of the Stephen J. Wampler Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide outdoor adventure and environmental programs that foster the social and emotional growth, physical rehabilitation and environmental awareness for children with physical disabilities. The dream to start this camp started when Mr. Wampler learned that his childhood camp had closed. In the last 14 years, thanks to his foundation, more than 1,000 children have attended free of cost. Born with cerebral palsy, he has lived his life setting big dreams for himself and not letting obstacles get in the way. One of his biggest accomplishments is being the first person with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He used his one arm to pull himself up 20,000 times to reach the top of one of the world’s biggest rocks in just six days. Mr. Wampler graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in Environmental Engineering.
View past Disability Awareness Month Honorees