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May 2011

Media professionals honored at the

Barbara Jordan Media Awards



An Emmy award-winning director, six journalists, and a former school teacher were among the thirteen 2011 Barbara Jordan Media Awards winners, honored at the 28th Annual Barbara Jordan Media Awards ceremony on April 16 at The University of Texas at Austin for accurately and positively depicting people with disabilities in the media.

Each honoree received a three-inch bronze medallion sculpted with the likeness of Barbara Jordan, the first elected African American congresswoman from the South. The awards honoring Jordan began in 1982 to recognize media professionals whose work encourages the accurate and progressive portrayals of people with disabilities. Jordan, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, used a wheelchair in her later years.

Dean Max Sherman plays a video featuring Barbara Jordan during his keynote.

“With the Barbara Jordan Media Awards, journalists and media professionals will become more aware of how their depictions of people with disabilities shape opinions and attitudes of every person in the community,” said Jo Virgil, community outreach and information coordinator of the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. “The effects of positive reporting will last far into the future, to the benefit of all people with disabilities.”

“Depictions of persons with disabilities shown in positive and inspiring ways through a variety of media, help to break down negative stereotypes and false images of members of our communities,” said Linda Millstone, associate vice president for Institutional Equity and Workforce Diversity. “Barbara Jordan, who also broke down stereotypes, would have been proud to represent this dimension of her diversity.”

Award winner and UT staff member, Melissa Mixon

The 2011 award winners were as follows:

Book Category
Challenged to Win
Nancy Shugart, author

Print Commentary
Daughter Was Mostly Invisible
Sarah Barnes, Austin American-Statesman

Print Feature
About a Boy
Michael Hall, Texas Monthly Magazine

Print News
UT Arlington Hosts 27 Injured Soldiers
Patrick Walker, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Student Poster Series
The Deaf Are Just Like Everyone Else
Gabriela Hanrahan, Barbara Jordan High School for Careers, Houston

Temple Grandin: HBO Special
Mike Jackson, Director

Defined by His Successes
Melissa Mixon, UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering

Journey into the World of Autism
Eli Meir Kaplan, Time.com

Special Contribution/Organization
Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD)
CTD Film Festival; Haitian Amputee Soccer Team
Dennis Borel, Executive Director

TV Documentary (TIE)
The Eyes of Me
Keith Maitland, Illegal Films
For Once in My Life
Goodwill Industries of South Florida

TV Feature
Actors with Disabilities Find Open Arms
Jim Swift, KXAN-TV, Austin

TV Feature, Extended
Sideline Signer
Bob Phillips, Texas Country Reporter, Dallas

A portion of the proceeds from the awards dinner went to support the Lee Bagan Foundation, an endowment established in 2008 by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, to help economically disadvantaged students with cognitive disabilities obtain psycho-educational testing not covered by insurance.

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