Tina Dyches Recognized with Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award
Dyches to be presented with an award for her work
For almost three decades, Tina Dyches, associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education Department at the McKay School of Education, has worked to promote the well-being and inclusion of children with disabilities and their families. Dyches was recently awarded The Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award for her exceptional contributions to the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CEC-DADD).
Dyches has been volunteering for the CEC for almost 20 years. Her contributions include serving on the board for DADD and Utah CEC, as well as initiating the Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award back in 2000 with colleagues Mary Anne Prater and Sharon Cramer. The Dolly Gray award recognizes authors, illustrators, and publishers of children, young adults, and adult books that portray individuals with developmental disabilities. The award has placed national emphasis on the issues involved with representing children with developmental disabilities in literature.
The Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award is presented to an individual who “reflects the ideals of the Division and who has made significant contribution to the field of intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and/or autism.” Burton Blatt is the author of many books, the most notable books, including Christmas in Purgatory, a photographic expose’ which centered on the conditions of institutionalized children with developmental disabilities in the 1960s. Blatt took a camera into these institutions to record the inhumane treatment residents were experiencing behind closed doors. This seminal piece, along with other academic contributions is what inspired DADD to initiate an award in Blatt’s name. Christmas in Purgatory includes not only Blatt’s findings, but how humans should be treated. “We have come so far because of his efforts,” Dyches said. “The foundation that Burton Blatt promoted regarding the humane treatment of individuals with disabilities is now recognized in schools, communities, and churches, helping them to secure inclusive and valued positions in society.”
The McKay School of Education would like to congratulate Tina Dyches for winning The Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award for her work with CEC – DADD, and for representing the high standards that Burton Blatt wished to see applied by those working with children who have developmental disabilities. “This award is a representation of thousands of the people who are working just as hard to engage in noble work for people with autism and developmental disabilities,” Dyches said.
May 29, 2012