Students Unlimited

Nov 4, 2014

triumphant-blue-girl-over-waterThe Asian and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) hosted its first awards ceremony at Cicada Restaurant in the historic Oviatt Building in downtown Los Angeles on October 25th.

Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta was honored with a lifetime achievement award for “his role in supporting the historic passage of the American with Disabilities Act.”

Mineta’s commitment to people with disabilities started back in the 1970’s when he was asked by a good friend to spend his first week as San Jose mayor in a wheelchair. It shaped his commitment to people with disabilities, which is best exemplified by his leadership in getting the transportation portions of the ADA passed. (Official text)




Proceeds from the gala event will benefit APIDC’s outreach and educational services. One of its newest programs is “a Leadership Institute where college students with disabilities are taught public speaking, media, advocacy, organizing and fundraising skills to become future leaders.  The 2014 graduates of the inaugural Leadership Institute are continuing their participation in APIDC as Student Ambassadors.

One of the graduates who spoke at the gala was Daphna Patel. She’s a student at PCC and is President and founding member of Students Unlimited, a campus club that supports students with disabilities. Another graduate is Kevin Phung who attends Rio Hondo College. The college’s Director of Disabled Student Programs and Services, Mark Matsui, “describes how Kevin has distinguished himself as a founding member of a student organization called Active Minds, which is dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding mental health challenges.”

Since 1999, APIDC has been a unique bridge between the Asian communities—traditionally under-served due to language and cultural barriers— and mainstream agencies and organizations serving people with disabilities.


APIDC-student certificates

Pictured above (L to R): Daphna Patel and Joanne Lee, PCC students and leadership graduate who received certificates of recognition from PCC; Jeanne Shamin, PCC President’s Asian & Pacific Islander Advisory Committee; Raymond Kwong, PCC student and leadership graduate who received a certificate of recognition; Susanna Shamin, PCC President’s Asian & Pacific Islander Advisory Committee; and Peter J. Wong, APIDC Research Director.



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