Jose Morales to Receive National Advocacy Award
Each year at the Annual Conference, the National Council on Independent Living recognizes individuals for outstanding advocacy efforts. This year, Jose Morales, ADA Manager at the Independent Living Resource Center, was chosen as the Region 4 Advocacy Award recipient. Region 4 represents Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Jose Morales is the definition of IL: self-determined, self-empowered, and an advocate for equality. Whether at the office or in his community, Jose is a natural leader. In 2016, Jose joined the team at his CIL in Jacksonville, Florida as an IL Coordinator. In 2018, Jose was promoted to ADA Manager and now combines his knowledge, skill set, and connections to elevate and eliminate barriers to independence. His colleagues have selected him as the agency's "Employee of Excellence" on multiple occasions. Jose serves on the City's Hispanic American Advisory Council, Mayor's Disability Council, and National Federation for the Blind. Jose received his degree from the University of North Florida and is fluent in Spanish. In 2018, Jose received Congressional recognition from Congressman Al Lawson. Senators Nelson and Rubio have personally thanked Jose for his community leadership. Jose actively encourages others to fully access their communities. Most recently, Jose has led the effort to make a one-mile stretch of road safe and accessible for pedestrians receiving services from social service agencies. Jose sets the bar high for the Independent Living Movement.
The NCIL Regional Advocacy Award recognizes individuals within each region for outstanding systems advocacy efforts consistent with independent living goals and philosophy at a national, state, or local level. Only one award is given, per region.
Regional Advocacy Awards will be presented to the winners at NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living, during the Awards Luncheon at Noon on Wednesday, July 24. For more information on this year's conference, click here.
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION] Jose Morales standing in front of Senate door in Tallahassee, Florida.
Jose Morales went to high school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. He also volunteered as a tutor for English as a Second Language students. In 2008, Jose joined a junior USA Goalball team. Goalball is an adaptive sport for the blind and visually impaired. He is currently coaching youth in Jacksonville and is nationally recognized in the sport.
[Image Description] Jose Morales standing in front of a wall of pictures at the National Council for Independent Living office in Washington, D.C.