The chairman of CBM South Africa’s board, Dr William Rowland received a National Lifetime Achievement Award at the Disability Rights Summit, which was held in Irene, Gauteng on 12 March 2016.
Organised by the Department of Social Development, the summit was convened to analyse and convert the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into realisable outcomes through practical implementation.
As part of the event, the winners of the National Disability Awards were announced. “The awards were initiated in 2009 to celebrate persons with disabilities and disability activists who have excelled during the previous year,” explains Martin Hahn, CEO of CBM SA. “And I am delighted to congratulate Dr Rowland.
The National Lifetime Achievement Award recognises the significant contribution that he has made to the disability sector during his long and distinguished career.
“We are privileged to have him on the board of CBM South Africa, and he is also an active member of CBM International’s board – which in itself is a testimony to his dedication to the sector.”
When asked about his feelings upon accepting the award, Dr Rowland said: “It is a singular honour, and I appreciate that. When I accepted the award at the Disability Summit, I said that I accepted it as a tribute to the many people who have worked with me in the disability rights movement over the years.”
While Dr Rowland remains modest about his achievements, he is a past president of the World Blind Union, past chairman of the International Disability Alliance and was a Council Member of UNISA, among many other roles. A veteran in the field, he is described as being a driving force in the disability world, both nationally and internationally, and has changed the lives of many blind people.
Dr Rowland is a well-known poet and the author of ‘Nothing about us without us. Inside the Disability Rights Movement of South Africa.’Congratulations, Dr Rowland, on this well-deserved accolade.