***Update! Click here to read about what Quintin has been up to since he won his award***
(Written in 2010)
Before joining the Corps, Quintin Williams was like many young people, working an unsatisfying job that provided little challenge.
Quintin sought out the Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) and the Inclusive Crew where Corpsmembers with and without disabilities surveyed campgrounds and trails for Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines. Quintin himself is completely blind, and previous work opportunities had been with others who were blind or visually impaired.
The Inclusive Crew’s mix, including mobility disabilities, gave Quintin a more complex understanding of accommodation. In addition, Quintin inspired his crewmates and used humor to break down barriers and honestly communicate about differences in ability, demonstrating a natural leadership that led him to promotion as crew leader.
Under Quintin’s leadership the crew took a local project and made it national: developing a new accessibility information database for the Forest Service that will provide the public with information on accessible campsites, facilities, and services. The database is a leap forward for the Forest Service in its transition planning—and, by no accident, accessible to those who use a screen reader.
Quintin is a leader and ambassador for accessibility on public lands—one of the nation’s rising leaders in the field of service.