Skip to main content

Welcome to WWVDN's new look! Now website users on mobile devices have an easier time accessing information & resources at their fingertips. If you ever get lost, just click the 3 horizontal lines in the upper right to see the navigation menu.

Blog Posts from WWVDN

2023 You Made A Difference Award Winners

Our 2023 You Made A Difference Award winners were honored at the WWVDN Holiday Party on December 15, 2023.

This year we had seven award recipients who have all made positive differences in the lives of children & adults with disabilities and their families.

We are happy to honor the following:

Andy’s Market - Advocacy

Nominated by: Racheal Akagi

Andy's market hires individuals with disabilities and special needs. Their staff go above and beyond to be positive role models for each individual. My daughter has worked there for 4 and 1/2 years. She has learned so much and they treat her and others that have special needs with respect, making them proud to be a part of a great team.

Jolene Greenough - Advocacy

Nominated by: Destinee Freiberg

Jolene has been working with developmentally disabled adults for over a decade, to help them find gainful employment. She advocates on behalf of all of her participants, and continues to go above and beyond with her work in the community. She truly cares about the individuals and does help "change the world through the power of work".

Larry Hector - Service

Nominated by: Angie Peters

I think Larry Hector is incredible because of his tireless dedication to advocacy and service. He works very hard on the WWCCACAC (Walla Walla County and Columbia County Accessible Communities Advisory Committee) and I could list a plethora of projects he’s been a part of, but I am most proud of the work he did to coordinate a donation and the installation of a ramp at the home of a student in a wheelchair who was unable to attend in-person school because he could not get out of his home. Larry helped with the install and pulled together a group of firefighters to help him get it all taken care of. He brings this level of care to every piece of service and advocacy he does and I am proud to say I know him.

Julio Jimenez Zavala - Service

Nominated by: Kristina Rasmussen

Julio cares about people with disabilities and is willing to spend the time it takes to have them be included. He volunteered to teach children by being the umpire on the Walla Walla Little League Challenger baseball team. When he taught it was friendly and he engaged with the children, so they had fun and wanted to learn. He runs a very happy Companion Home. He has a positive attitude and has a way of making people feel good even when expressing their needs. He does a wonderful job advocating for people not just for getting their needs met, but for helping them live the life that they want.

Amber Jones - Advocacy

Nominated by: Monica Caldwell

I know Amber is amazing at what she does as a job coach. She has a very incredible amount of patience and sympathy. She will help whenever she can! Which is, every single time. She loves her clients, and wants them to be happy and taken care of. Amber is awesome!

Connie Taylor-Randall - Advocacy

Nominated by: Tim Barrett

I think Connie is incredible because she fights tirelessly for the rights of disabled people within the community. Connie leads the Walla Walla County and Columbia County Accessible Communities Advisory Committee. She communicates information to the community and assertively advocates for this important work at both the county and state levels. Connie's role in championing human rights inspires disabled people to participate in the public process and to speak up, empowering them and their futures.

Adam Klein - The Carla L. Nibler Award

The Carla L. Nibler Award is given to someone who goes above and beyond in service to their community and specifically in service to a family with a child or adult with a disability.

Nominated by: Lydia Caudill

Adam is incredible because he goes above and beyond in his design work with the diverse populations with unique needs in our community.

Adam met onsite with members of the visually impaired community at the new roundabouts to better understand their challenges as pedestrians. Navigating roundabouts is more complex for visually impaired since they don’t have the familiar audio prompts of a signalized intersection. To help with this, he generated a raised map to help them locate the pedestrian crossing locations at a roundabout.

Adam has also interacted with a former member of the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) who was confined to a scooter as her means of mobility. He met onsite with her at the 2nd & Chestnut intersection to understand what works better for the height and placement of pedestrian activated crossing buttons for people in a scooter or wheelchair. There currently is a BPAC member with a hearing disability and Adam as the staff liaison to this committee listens to input provided by this member.

Adam has a great ability to take time with residents at locations around town, listen to their needs, and take action to help them out.

Thank you to all of our award winners for demonstrating the power each person has to make a positive difference in other people's lives.

Thank You to our Sponsors