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Achieva Executive, Nancy Murray, Honored by the National Historic Recognition Project

For Immediate Release                                       
 
Lisa Razza, Director of Communications
412-995-5000 x410
lrazza@achieva.info

Achieva Executive, Nancy Murray, Honored by the National Historic Recognition Project: 2000-2020

Pittsburgh, PA (April 23, 2020) ­- Nancy Murray, Senior Vice President of Achieva and President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh, has been honored for her impact in the service of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by the National Historic Recognition Project: 2000-2020 (the Project).

The project is an effort by a dozen national and regional organizations to recognize the key individuals who have contributed to the transformation of the field of intellectual and developmental disability disabilities within the United States over the past 20 years. The 2020 recognition committee represents the following organizations: AAIDD, ANCOR, AUCD, NASDDDS, The Arc, UCP, ADAPT Community Network, Cerebral Palsy Association of New York, New York Interagency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, NYSARC, and the VISIONS Center for Creative Management.  “I am very honored to be included in this group of dynamic disability advocates. And, there is still more we must accomplish to ensure that people with disabilities are truly included in schools, workplaces, places of worship, and communities throughout the United States. I thank my mentors, colleagues, family, and, most of all, the people with disabilities and families who I have learned from and worked with over the years,” said Ms. Murray.

Ms. Murray is a recipient of the Project’s “Essential Change Agents” honor, recognized for her significant regional contributions in the field of I/DD in the U.S. between 2000 and 2020. She has made an impact via her role at The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh/Achieva, one of the largest advocacy and disability service organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania. Nancy Murray’s systems advocacy has been instrumental in the following past successes:

  • Passage of Pennsylvania’s state Adult Protective Services Act in 2010, which (similar to the Child Protective Services and Older Adult Protective Services Acts) affords vulnerable people with disabilities ages 18 to 59 basic protections against those who would abuse or exploit them. To this day, Murray is a member of Pennsylvania’s Adult Protective Services advisory committee, which advises the PA Department of Human Services as it administers the statute.
  • Passage of the federal ABLE Act, which allows individuals with disabilities to accumulate resources necessary to live independent lives without jeopardizing eligibility for vital publicly-funded programs, such as health care and home-based supports.
  • Closures of state-operated institutions.  All individuals served in those centers were offered services in their communities with individualized, comprehensive services to enable them to thrive in their communities.


Currently, Ms. Murray directs the organizations’ Disability Healthcare Initiative, which seeks to address disparities in access to health care for people with disabilities. Previous positions include Founder and Coordinator of the Down Syndrome Center at Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh, Director of Supports Coordination at Staunton Clinic in Pittsburgh, and Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs’ Western Regional Office. A parent of two children with Down syndrome, Ms. Murray serves as a Co-Chair of the federal RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council and is a member of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Council on Reform to improve the support and protection of vulnerable Pennsylvanians. She also serves as Board Chair of the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation and as a member of the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Advisory Council. In addition, she is a member of the Pennsylvania Waiting List Campaign and the Advisory Council for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research, Training, and Dissemination of Family Support for People with Disabilities Across the Life Course. Nationally, Ms. Murray serves as a program planner on the National Conference of Executives of The Arc.

Ms. Murray is honored among an esteemed group of recipients, including President Barack Obama and former Senator Ted Kennedy, who are recognized for their significant contributions to nationally significant research, practice, public policy, and advocacy initiatives that enhanced quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As part of that celebration, a commemorative booklet, 2020 National Honors Recognizing Significant Contributions in the Field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Between 2000 and 2020 describes the contributions of the honorees.

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Achieva is a non-profit organization located in southwestern Pennsylvania providing lifelong supports to people with disabilities and their families. Achieva envisions a community where all people with disabilities lead lives of personal significance. Our services range from early intervention therapies and employment supports to special needs trusts and supports in the home and community. Achieva advocates for, empowers, and supports people with disabilities and their families throughout their lives.