Charles Hines, who helped establish "Beyond Academics" program for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, honored by NC Council on Developmental Disabilities as outstanding advocate.
A key contributor to opening up education opportunities and provider of support services for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities has won the Hefner Award from the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Council honored Charles A. Hines for his work in establishing Beyond Academics (BA) in North Carolina, helping to give college experiences to young people with developmental disabilities.
Known to many as "Andy," he is the president of Charles Hines and Son, Inc., of Winston-Salem, one of the state's largest providers of support services for people with disabilities. The "son" in the firm's name is Zeke Hines, who has a developmental disability and who inspired the founding of the firm.
When Hines was unable to secure support services for Zeke, he recognized the need and took on the task himself. He left his post as an engineer and began hiring and guiding the support staff that Zeke needed. Understanding that many other individuals and families had the same needs, Hines started the business, which now serves hundreds of clients in Winston-Salem and surrounding counties.
The Beyond Academics program resulted from the work of a group of parents of children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities who saw the need for learning experiences after high school. The committee surveyed efforts across the nation and decided that a program offering a college experience designed for students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities would be the best course. Hines was a leader of the committee which spurred the adoption of the Beyond Academics concept and, with the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, made it happen. An energetic and dedicated advocate, he provided financial support and generated additional backing.
The Council later provided a grant to help Beyond Academics move forward, and it has since expanded the length of the program and increased the numbers of students with developmental disabilities participating in a post-secondary experience with typically developing peers.
"For his work in bringing Beyond Academics to North Carolina, his work as a parent advocate and his years as the leader of an innovative provider agency, Andy Hines is truly deserving of the Hefner Award," said Beyond Academics Director Joan Johnson.
The Jack B. Hefner Memorial Award was established in 1994 to celebrate the leadership of a man whose work inspired a generation of advocates and people with developmental disabilities. He served the Council for 22 years until his death in 1994. The Hefner Award is the highest honor given by the NCCDD in recognition of those who work to promote changes that enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.
"The commitment of 'Big Jack' to do whatever it took to enhance the lives of North Carolinians with developmental disabilities inspired a generation of passionate advocates to strive for full inclusion," said Holly Riddle, the Council's executive director. "This award is dedicated to keeping his legacy alive and honoring the families and self-advocates who've followed in his footsteps."
The 34-member North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities was established in 1973 and seeks to support effective, innovative initiatives that improve the lives and promote community inclusion for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The Council awards grants to grass roots advocacy groups, government agencies, disability nonprofits and other community organizations.
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