Mountain Brook native Alison Bradford Gorrie, also known as Alie B., was named Advocate of the Year during the 2020 Disability Employment Summit to promote diversity through inclusion.
Gorrie said she was thrilled to be recognized for her efforts and vowed to continue to advocate.
“It is such an honor to receive the Alabama Advocate of the Year Award. As an advocate and person with a disability, I believe in the power of inclusion and belonging,” she said. “I also believe in the creativity, innovation and tenacity within the disability community. One fourth of our population is disabled, and I will not stop advocating until people with disabilities have the tools they need to succeed and have a seat at all decision-making tables.”
Gorrie was born with low vision and launched the nonprofit organization “Song for Sight” at age 16. She has provided the same life-changing resources to others that she has used in her daily life.
Now, she frequently speaks about disability awareness and inclusion while she builds her career as a performing artist in New York City and teaches acting and dance classes to other aspiring performers with disabilities.
In 2018, Gorrie co-produced and hosted “Able: a series,” which streams on Amazon and is aimed at encouraging conversation about the portrayal of characters with disabilities and about the employment of actors with disabilities.
As a corporate responsibility coordinator with Brasfield and Gorrie, Gorrie also organizes nationwide trainings to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in every facet of the workplace.
The summit was held to recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 25th birthday of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the 100th anniversary of the founding of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
It was hosted by Disability:IN Alabama, the Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said there are still areas to improve upon when it comes to finding employment for people with disabilities, but the summit was an opportunity for everyone to recognize milestones that play a vital role in the development of a more capable, fair and inclusive workforce.
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw thanked everyone for their partnerships and help to provide inclusion and opportunities for people with disabilities.