The University of Michigan’s Council for Disability Concerns holds an annual award ceremony presenting certificates of appreciation and the James T. Neubacher award. James T. Neubacher was an alumnus of the University of Michigan who was a columnist for The Detroit Free Press and an advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. These prestigious awards are given to strong leaders and advocates for the disability community.
Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Chair of the James T. Neubacher Award Committee presented the awards. She described self-transcendence as “reaching out beyond yourself to other people.” Those who receive the awards promote acceptance and awareness of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life and are advocates for the civil rights of those with disabilities.
Joe Altizer was a recipient of a 2014 University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns Certificate of Appreciation. He was a part of University of Michigan’s Dance Marathon for four years and served as the family relations chair and also the therapy relations chair. In addition, he is part of PEAC, Programs to Educate All Cyclists. PEAC teaches children and adults with disabilities how to ride a bicycle and use it safely as a means of viable transportation.
Alitizer’s nominator says, “Joe’s dedication has touched the lives of families and hundreds of community members through his dedication with Dance Marathon. He is an tireless advocate of people with disabilities and encourages independence by teaching that they too can ride a bike.”