SATH Access to Freedom Award Recipients

The Steuben Cristal representing SATH Access to Freedom Award being presented to Patricia Gray, Vice President, AMEX. Left to Right. Steve Mydanick, Pat Gray, Ruth Vidockler and Donna Flora.

The Access to Freedom Award, given annually, is the highest honor awarded by the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality.

The award recognizes the individual or organization that has made the greatest strides in the past year in creating economic opportunities for persons with disabilities in the travel industry and promoting awareness of and access for travelers with disabilities. The first such award was given in 1994 at the ASTA World Congress in Lisbon, Spain, to President George Bush for his signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, founded in 1976 by Murray Vidockler, CTC, is an educational non-profit (501C3) organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and worldwide.

Following is a complete list of Access to Freedom Award recipients.

  • January 2008 The United Nations
  • January 2007 Roy E. Flora, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, US Franchise Systems, Inc. SATH World Congress, Orlando, Florida
  • January 2006 Dr. Stuart Schulman, Center for Economic and Workforce Development at Kingsborough Community College (KCC), The New York Times Travel Show, New York / SATH World Congress, Miami
  • November 2005 Jack Anderson Vice President World Leading Cruise Lines ASTA World Congress Montreal
  • October 2004 Gerard Quirk Vice President, Global Travel Industry ASTA World Congress Hong Kong
  • January 2004 Matthew Sapolin Executive Director, MOPD,New York City, New York Adventure Show, NYC
  • October 2003 Dr. Suzanne Cook ,Travel Industry Relations & Eric Lipp Exec. Director, Open Doors Organization ASTA World Congress, Miami
  • January 2003 Patricia Gray Senior VP, Travel Industry Association of America, American Express Travel, SATH World Congress, Miami
  • November 2002 Donna Flora,CTC, Vice President, Travel Industry Relations, American Express Travel, ASTA World Congress,Hawaii
  • February 2002 Anna Dekker Euro World, The Hague ITMIC Congress, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • October 2001 Richard Sasso, President, Celebrity Cruises, ASTA World Congress, New York
  • September 2000 Harold Berns, President, Air & Sea Travel Agency, Inc.; Co-Chair, SATH World Congress ,ASTA World Congress, Las Vegas
  • November 1999 Robert Brennan, President, National Tour Association ASTA World Congress, Strasbourg, France
  • October 1998 Don Daly American Express Travel Related ServicesASTA World Congress, Los Angeles, CA
  • January 1998 HRH, The Prince of Wales President, The Disability Partnership SATH World Congress, Miami, FL
  • September 1997 Mike Spinelli President, ASTA ,ASTA World Congress, Glasgow, Scotland
  • October 1996 Earlene Causey President, ASTA , ASTA World Congress. Bangkok, Thailand
  • November 1995 Jeanne Epping President, ASTA, ASTA World Congress,Philadelphia, PA
  • November 1994 President George Bush, President of the United States, ASTA World Congress, Lisbon, Spain