Jackson is a Leader in Accessibility Efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is pleased to name Jacqueline “Jackie” Jackson, MSW, its Social Worker of the Year. She is a lifelong activist for disability rights.
Restricted to a wheelchair, Ms. Jackson is passionate about making America fully accessible for all. As a social worker and a disability consultant, she analyzes and assists with public policy implementation, ensuring that public places are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through her advocacy, she works closely with elected officials, community leaders, clergy and consumers to heighten awareness about health, education, employment, and disabilities issues that impact the community.
One of Ms. Jackson’s most significant accomplishments came when she began challenging elected officials and community leaders to take “accessibility tours.” As part of her Movement for Change Initiative, she invited leaders to spend the day rolling through their towns in a wheelchair in order to experience the many obstacles that people with disabilities encounter on a daily basis. She wanted to ensure that public places were accessible.
Ms. Jackson’s accessibility tours have expanded from the local level to the state level, and it is her ultimate goal to conduct these tours at the national level. Her efforts provide insight to the public on the importance of making communities more accessible for people with disabilities. Her work helps leaders and organizations promote inclusion and independence.
“Accessibility is vital for full participation of people with disabilities in a functioning society,” says NASW President James J. Kelly, Ph.D., ACSW. “Jackie Jackson’s incredible work has raised awareness of accessibility issues in the eyes of countless lawmakers and the public.”
Ms. Jackson has received many advocacy awards for her commitment and dedication to making communities accessible. She has been active in Trenton, NJ, and Washington, DC, as a disability advocate and has partnered with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to assist her with the accessibility tours. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies and a Master in Social Work (MSW) from Rutgers University.
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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 145,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.