Dec. 11, 2018 - Ralph W. Shelman, founder and executive director of Insight Enterprises and an expert on disability issues, received the city’s Distinguished Citizen Medal Wednesday evening from Hampton City Council. Established in 1964, the medal is Hampton’s version of a key to the city.
Shelman is a graduate of Hampton Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University who has also completed post-graduate coursework in Gerontology at Hampton University. He is recognized throughout Virginia and the nation as a leader in the disability community, having been involved in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Virginians with Disabilities Act; and the development of other disability-related laws and policies.
"The City of Hampton accepted me as its own when I came as a child to attend the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and accepted and nurtured me," Shelman told Council. "I could not have done this on my own. Hampton citizens and others provided me encouragement, support and additional direction when I stepped forward to start Insight Enterprises, and the city stepped forward with funding."
"The city continues to provide the support for its citizens with disabilities," he said. "The City Council, the city itself, Mayor Tuck and the present leadership especially also deserve award."