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Laurie Yankowitz, HeartShare Vice President for Individualized Supports, received a Karuna Heisler Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council. Over the past 30 years, Laurie has made significant contributions to improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through program innovation and research. She is an expert in the learning and behavioral profile of Fragile X Syndrome and is responsible for pioneering 14 of HeartShare’s family support programs. Laurie, who has her PhD in Education from Columbia University, recently has been working on how to measure and assess personally meaningful outcomes for those with I/DD. In her acceptance speech for the award, Laurie spoke about the Karuna Heisler, an advocate for people with special needs and founder of a special needs theater company, who inspired Laurie to challenge the societal limitations placed on people with disabilities, “We cannot allow disability to dictate boundaries that make for a less-than life. It isn’t right.”
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