RespectAbility’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration was held in November at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The evening, hosted by comedian Nikki Bailey, unfolded with an energy that mirrored the spirit of RespectAbility itself.
The event celebrated RespectAbility’s first decade of impact in disability advocacy and ignited renewed commitment and passion for the decade ahead.
Andrew Holbrook, SVP and head of Loudspeaker Enterprise Insights & Analytics at Wells Fargo, kicked off the evening off with impactful remarks, followed by stirring addresses from key figures, including RespectAbility President and CEO Ariel Simms and esteemed leaders from RespectAbility’s Board of Directors, including Linda Burger, the Hon. Steve Bartlett, Ollie Cantos and Bianca Anderson.
The audience was moved by special remarks from Heather McCoy Thomas, who gave a poignant tribute to the late RespectAbility team member Ben Spangenberg.
A highlight of the Celebration was the presentation of the prestigious Ben Spangenberg and Justin Chappell Memorial Award and the Steve Bartlett Award to Elizabeth Kim and Nicole Homerin, respectively. The awardees were recognized for their exceptional contributions to disability inclusion, and both shared their hopes for an even brighter future for the disability community. Singer/songwriter James Ian and dance group Straight Up Abilities also provided thrilling performances during the event.
In essence, RespectAbility’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration was more than an event—it was a testament to a decade of unwavering dedication, transformative impact and the collective vision of a community striving for full accessibility and inclusion.
As the night concluded, it marked not just an end to a decade of achievement but a brilliant beginning for the next chapter of groundbreaking change. The event was made possible with support from Platinum Sponsor Wells Fargo as well as Warner Bros. Discovery Access, The Walt Disney Company and MTV Entertainment Studios. For more information on RespectAbility’s upcoming events, visit respectability.org.