Mar. 6, 2009 - Markey Honored To Receive Highest Award from American Foundation for the Blind

Migel Medal Recognizes Markey’s Leadership on Behalf of Blind or Visually Impaired People

Washington, DC – The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has awarded Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) the Migel Medal—the highest award in the field of blindness—for his work on improving technology access for people with disabilities. On June 19, 2008, Rep. Markey introduced the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, H.R. 6320, to enhance access to broadband technology and services for persons with disabilities. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) also received the Migel Medal at last night’s ceremony. In the 72 year history of the Migel Medal, only four other Members of Congress have received this prestigious honor. 

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Rep. Markey poised with Paul Schroeder, Vice President of Programs and Policy at the American Foundation for the Blind, after receiving the Migel Award.
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“I am honored to have my work on behalf of persons with disabilities recognized by the AFB and will be counting on your support and assistance in future legislative battles,” said Rep. Markey. “The rise of digital technologies and services, meshed with broadband access to the Internet, is driving innovation across communications markets.  As these advancements challenge marketplace participants and spawn new services and markets, policymakers must ensure that historic access policies keep pace, and our nation’s laws and regulations evolve to embrace universal access for all our citizens. Congress must pass my legislation to ensure that these empowering technologies enhance the lives of all consumers.”


The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a leading national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources.

"AFB was honored to present the Migel Medal to Congressman Markey, who has spent the last 20 years leading efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have access to telephone services, communications technology, and television," said Paul Schroeder, Vice President of Programs and Policy at the American Foundation for the Blind.  "Congressman Markey is a true hero to people with disabilities and we look forward to working with him to ensure that all forms of media and communication are provided in accessible formats that all Americans can enjoy."

“Ed Markey is a national leader for people with disabilities. We are thrilled he was recognized with the Migel Medal,” said Steven Rothstein, President of Perkins School for the Blind. “Individuals with disabilities have more options and more access to today’s world because of Congressman’s Markey’s hard work, his passion and his true commitment to those in need.”

Rep. Markey and Sen. Harkin join only four other Members of Congress who have been presented with the Migel Medal: Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-CA), Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR), Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R-NY) and Sen. Jennings Randolph (D-WV).



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2009

  CONTACT: Daniel Reilly, Rep. Markey 202-225-2836