On September 24th James Brett, President and CEO of The New England Council, and former Massachusetts state representative, will be recognized for his induction into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame on October 2nd, at a reception at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.
Brett is the recipient of the inaugural John “Jack” Brett Champion’s Award, named in honor of Brett’s late brother Jack, who inspired friends and family to advocate for communities of acceptance and inclusion.
“In a career spanning more than four decades, Jim Brett has ceaselessly advocated for individuals with intellectual disabilities,” said Mary Beth McMahon, President and CEO of Special Olympics Massachusetts. “His has been a life and career truly in the service of others, and it’s an honor on behalf of Special Olympics Massachusetts to name our Champion’s Award after his brother Jack, someone who’s given great inspiration to him and his family.”
Brett was recently reappointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). Brett served a two-year term as the Committee’s Chairman from 2011 to 2013, and previously served on PCPID from 2002 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. Brett is currently Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability.
His efforts have been recognized by a number of organizations, including Easter Seals, the Disability Law Center, The Price Center, Bridgewell, Action for Boston Community Development, and Community Resources for Justice.
In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults “Brett House” in his honor. In 2009 and 2011, the Boston Red Sox invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park in recognition of his national contributions in support of people with intellectual disabilities. Last year, the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed chair in disability and workforce development.
Every two years, Special Olympics Massachusetts recognizes athletes, coaches, families, volunteers, law enforcement personnel, and funders who have been leaders in building the Special Olympics movement. This year, 15 individuals and groups will be inducted into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame on the evening of October 2nd at The Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, MA.