2023 David Veatch Advocacy Achievement Award
The David Veatch Advocacy Achievement Award is presented during the NYAIL Statewide Conference to an individual who has shown a passion for advocacy for individuals with all types of disabilities. In presenting this award, we keep alive the memory and spirit of David Veatch, a tireless activist for people with disabilities. Candidate submissions will open soon!
Remembering David
A picture of David Veatch in his power chair A picture of David Veatch in his power chair in an elevatorA photo of David Veatch speaking at a press conference
David Veatch was a young man who was a staunch advocate for home care and consumer-directed personal assistance services throughout New York State. Originally from Long Island, David received his education at Syracuse University, where he majored in journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He was President of the Organization for Disabled Students (ODS) and was news editor of Interact, a school-wide video/text system. 
Before graduating from Syracuse in 1987, David shepherded several initiatives to make life easier for disabled students on campus. Among those initiatives was; “adopt an administrator,” new curb cuts for sidewalks, and having the elevator in Hendricks Chapel renovated. Throughout his time at Syracuse and for his short career after college, he was a tireless advocate for individuals with disabilities. He spoke at rallies and confronted the policies of Governor Mario Cuomo before the media and a legislative committee. On March 10, 1993, at the age of 26, David died while preparing for a protest.