Ability Beyond CEO Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Ability Beyond today announced that Thomas H. Fanning, President/CEO of Ability Beyond has been selected as this year’s recipient of the CCPA Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding leadership, commitment and accomplishments within the human services industry and will be presented at the CCPA Annual Meeting on December 3rd.
“Tom’s leadership has not only transformed Ability Beyond over the past 42 years but has also made a lasting impact on the health and human services landscape,” said Greg Smith, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ability Beyond. “Under his leadership, Ability Beyond has emerged as a leader in the field, growing from an organization of a small group of parents who wanted a better life for their children, into a network of services that now supports close to 3,000 people with disabilities each and every year.”
The impact Mr. Fanning has had on the community can be seen each and every day as people with disabilities are living, working, volunteering and enjoying life alongside those without disabilities. Ten years ago a huge step toward full community inclusion for people with disabilities was realized when Mr. Fanning oversaw the closing of Ability Beyond’s sheltered workshop, putting Ability Beyond on the national radar as one of the first organization’s in the country to move to full community-based employment.
In the years that followed, Mr. Fanning has continued to forge ahead with his vision of inclusion for people with disabilities, expanding services and creating new opportunities despite a difficult economic climate. In 2012, Mr. Fanning’s vision propelled Ability Beyond to yet another level of national recognition, this time among the business industry. Mr. Fanning had the idea to share decades of disability employment knowledge with the corporate world and created a business focused consulting division, Disability Solutions @Ability Beyond. The consulting group works directly with national and regional businesses on improving strategy and implementation for sustainable, company-led hiring and retention initiatives for jobseekers with disabilities. The development of Disability Solutions furthers the mission of Ability Beyond and will have exponential impact on the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities nationally.
Mr. Fanning’s commitment to community inclusion and creating a better life for people living with disabilities has, and continues to make, a difference for a population that has historically been isolated from the rest of society. His mission, and the mission of Ability Beyond, is to help people with disabilities to fully participate in their communities and enjoy the same things all members of a community enjoy.