The Disability Policy Consortium has honored Rep. Josh S. Cutler with the 2021 “Thomas M. Menino Award for Public Service” at its annual celebration of disability rights. The event recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in service to the people with disabilities in Massachusetts.
The Thomas M. Menino Award for Public Service is presented to a state-level elected official who has been a consistent and effective champion for people with disabilities. Rep. Cutler was recognized for his tireless work on disability employment policy.
“One of the most dedicated leaders for disability rights throughout the legislature, Rep. Cutler was chair of the WorkAbility taskforce, which pushed for greater employment of people with disabilities in Massachusetts,” the DPC announced. “He was also instrumental in the creation of the new state Permanent Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and is the lead sponsor of legislation to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities in the provision of health care. (H. 1256).
In addition to Rep. Cutler, the DPC recognized two other individuals who have made major impacts on behalf of the disability community. Receiving the Bill Alan Award for Grassroots Advocacy was Sandy Ho, a disability activist and researcher at Brandeis’ Lurie Institute. Receiving the Mary Lou Maloney award for Systems Advocacy was Oz Mondejar, who over decades of work at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital has worked tirelessly to bring the perspectives of people with disabilities into the healthcare system.
“I am grateful to the DPC for this kind recognition, which I am pleased to share with my colleagues in the legislature and the many dedicate advocates who continue to inspire me,” said Rep. Cutler in accepting the award.
The DPC is the largest statewide disability rights advocacy and research organization in Massachusetts. The annual awards ceremony is now known as the Winske Awards in honor former Executive Director John Winske, who passed away in late 2020.
The Thomas M. Menino Award was originally presented in 2013 to the late Mayor Thomas Menino.