Hon. John R. Sticht Disability Achievement Award

Established in May 2006 (amended language in 2015), the Hon. John R. Sticht Disability Achievement Award is  presented by the Board of Governors to recognize either a person(s) in the legal profession or a group, organization or employer, who or which furthers the goals of access to justice and the full participation for people with disabilities in the legal profession and justice system or a person(s) with disability who has demonstrated exceptional depth of inner strength, courage in the face of adversity, and tenacity of purpose.

2024 Recipient


Disability Rights Arizona has hosted the African American Conference on Disabilities (AACD) for the past 13 years. This annual conference addresses the important issues of race and disability. The conference presenters and their sessions examine innovative avenues to ensure equal access to necessary rights information, services and resources which provides legal professionals, advocates and family members with the necessary knowledge and tools to safeguard the civil rights of people with disabilities. By uniquely combining and examining issues of race and disability, the AACD has become one of the premier civil rights conferences in the United States and around the world.

Co-founders, Renaldo Fowler of Disability Rights Arizona and David Carey of the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council, envisioned the AACD as a local event. The first AACD was funded with a donation from notable civil rights icon Jean Fairfax. Ms. Fairfax was an unwavering foe of injustice through her work with both the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the American Friends Service Committee. With her initial funding, the AACD was born and has served as inspiration ever since.

Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2006     Arizona Center for Disability Law
Office of the Arizona Attorney General
2007 Office of the Pima County Attorney
2008 University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
2009 Mesch Clark & Rothschild PC (Tucson)
Quarles & Brady, LLP (Phoenix)
2010 Pima County Public Defender's Office
2011 Industrial Commission of Arizona
2012 Arizona Center for Disability Law
2013 Phoenix School of Law
2014 Office of the Arizona Attorney General
2015 City of Peoria
2016 Edward L. Myers III
2017 William R. Jones, Jr.
2018 Hon. Lawrence O. Anderson
2019 Bridget O'Brien Swartz
2020 Rose Daly-Rooney
2021 Kacie Taylor Nickel
2022 Donna Powers
2023 Hon. Danelle Liwski
2024 Disability Rights Arizona's African American Conference on Disabilities
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