Joey Travolta headlines 27th Annual Advocacy Awards

Joey Travolta
Joey Travolta

“In high school, I was always the protector of kids with special needs,” said Joey Travolta, the keynote speaker at the 27th annual  Advocacy Awards and Volunteer Recognition event scheduled for Dec. 7, 2017 at the Marriott Hotel Southern Hills in Tulsa.

That protective instinct became a motivating force in shaping Joey’s future career choices. He went on to earn a degree in special education and became a special education teacher. Born into a show business family, Joey, older brother of John, became a performer in 1978 as a recording artist with Casablanca Records and then stared in several feature films.

He has directed and produced more than 20 films, including the documentary Normal People Scare Me, while mentoring a 15-year-old boy with autism who directed the film. In 2007, Joey founded Inclusion Films which involves individuals with special needs in the process of making films.

Joey will share his passion for helping students with  intellectual and developmental disabilities develop self-esteem, confidence, and creativity through acting and digital film making.

This year’s Advocacy Award winners are:

  • Advocate – Board Member – Terry Trego (Woodward)
    Recognizes a member of the board of directors of any non-profit, community based service provider who has gone beyond the interest of his or her agency to become an advocate for all people with disabilities.
  • Advocate – Case Manager – Sonya Rios (Tulsa)
    Recognizes the OKDHS/DDS case manager who has surpassed job requirements to advocate for his or her clients.
  • Advocate – Direct Care Provider – Kerrie White (Noble)
    Recognizes the direct contact staff person working for a community provider, who has gone beyond job requirements to advocate for people with disabilities.
  • Advocate – Educator – Carolyn Piguet (Vinita)
    Recognizes a public school educator who has promoted the inclusion of children with disabilities in regular school settings.
  • Advocate – Professional Provider – Kim Wotring (Tulsa)
    Recognizes any professional such as a therapist or physician who advocates for people with disabilities beyond their professional responsibilities.
  • Advocate – Volunteer – Helen Taylor (Tulsa)
    Recognizes the volunteer or group of volunteers who, in a program serving people with developmental disabilities, has gone beyond the call of duty to advocate.
  • Self-Advocate – Donald Smalley (Vinita)
    Recognizes the self-advocate who has spoken out for all people with disabilities.
  • Media Advocate – OK Watch (Norman)
    Recognizes the media professional who has effectively promoted better understanding and integration of people with disabilities living in the community.
  • Parent Advocate – Erica Herrera (Oklahoma City)
    Recognizes the parent(s) of a person with developmental disabilities who has been a voice for all people with disabilities.
  • Special Achievement in Advocacy – Individual – Ed Long (Oklahoma City)
    Recognizes the individual, business, or organization not included in other categories, which through a significant advocacy effort has improved the lives of people with disabilities.
  • Special Achievement in Advocacy – Group – True Blue Neighbors – (Tulsa)
    Recognizes the individual, business, or organization not included in other categories, which through a significant advocacy effort has improved the lives of people with disabilities.
  • Catalyst of Change – Judith Leitner (Oklahoma City)
    Recognizes individuals, groups or  organizations that have been catalysts for significant positive change in improving the lives of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities over a long period of time.
  • Catalyst of Change – Jenifer Randle (Oklahoma City)
    Recognizes individuals, groups or  organizations that have been catalysts for significant positive change in improving the lives of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities over a long period of time.