(As told by John Chappell)

Moro and I met in 1978 at an American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities meeting. The four-state meeting was the first of its kind and we were each representing our respective states, Virginia for me and Massachusetts for Moro. The meeting was organized to study how different states on the East Coast were involving consumers in the development of policies for agencies that provided vocational rehabilitation services.

I quickly discovered Moro's commitment to consumer involvement and how his quiet but persistent style had been so successful in Massachusetts. With Commissioner Bartels leadership and support, Moro had built a statewide and regional advisory council structure in Massachusetts. I also discovered a new friend. We worked together for nearly two years on the project and I always found his positive and quiet listening approach so very supportive and successful in our deliberations.

In 1984 I was asked by Commissioner Bartels to come to Massachusetts to head up the newly formed Independent Living Division. One of the components of the new Division was Consumer Involvement. To my surprise and delight, Moro Fleming was still the Director of Consumer Involvement. It was just like we were at our meetings in D.C. Moro picked up where we left off. Only this time I was able to experience first hand his solicitous style with consumers. I was able to see personally how his quiet but persistent support of their involvement was being accomplished in Massachusetts.

Through his great work, the number of consumers statewide had continued to grow. Also, Moro coordinated an annual Statewide Consumer Conference which brought together persons with disabilities from all over the state to discuss ways in which MRC could provide better services. As part of the outreach for the Conference, Moro suggested that I travel around the state meeting with all of the leaders of the different advisory councils.

I traveled from the North Shore to Pittsfield; from the South Shore to Springfield; from Worcester to Milford. In all of these places, I watched Moro as he encouraged input and worked with each person individually so that the Agency could benefit from the perspective of the consumer. As we traveled across the state, I also got to know Moro personally. He was very proud of his family and quickly related how he met his wife and how he was very proud of his involvement in the many different human rights issues of the 60s and the 70s.

I also learned that in spite of Moro's commitment to the issues of persons with disabilities he was also ultimately committed to his family. Wherever we were, Moro always insisted that we get home early in time for him to spend time with his family! So we always started out early in the day but arrived home in time for him to see his children before bedtime.

Moro was truly an unusual person. A man committed to empowerment for persons with disabilities; a person who believed that only through soliciting input from those who received services could the agency truly do a better job. A person who believed in his family and the need to be there when it counted.

Finally, Moro was a person who demonstrated even in dying that an individual could retain his or her dignity. Moro passed away too young, given the work he still had ahead of him. Moro however, left us his legacy. A legacy of commitment to doing whatever it took to ensure that the Agency's constituencies could and would have a legitimate say in the way we do our job; a say in ensuring that we are accountable to the people that we serve.

Moro, a man for all seasons, left us much, but most importantly he left us an example to live by; an example that we honor each year through the Moro Fleming Award.


1. Any person, who has been served by or associated with, the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Independent Living Program, and/or the Disability Determination Services, can be nominated.

2. Any citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who best exemplifies the commitment to empower persons with disabilities.

3. Any person who voluntarily advocates for person's with disabilities can be nominated.

4. Look for advocates in your community who through voluntary work help persons with disabilities to achieve independence.
For example - the nominee may have been a consumer of MRC services or worked to shape MRC policy through advocacy and/or involvement on an MRC advisory council.

5. The Selection Committee is looking for any nominee who reflects the philosophy of Moro Fleming.

· Shape agency's policy
· Encouraging inclusion
· Advocacy

6. The selection process is based on any or all of the following:

  • Recipient of the award must not be a State/Federal employee, and or a staff of the State Independent living centers.
  • Candidate's role in employment, independent living and disability determination programs/services
  • Broad benefits of the candidate's activities to the citizens of the Commonwealth with disabilities and MRC
  • This award is meant to encourage mainstream advocacy and employment for people with disabilities.

NOTE: The selection committee encourages that previous nominees not selected can be nominated again.

Please fill out the attached nomination form on or before and return to:

Director of Consumer Involvement
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111


Nominated by: ________________________

Address: _____________________________

Phone ___________________ E-mail _______________________

If you need assistance, someone will contact you with further information.

___ Please check box if you need assistance with this nomination process or call 1-800-223-2559 and ask for Emeka.

I nominate the following for the Moro Fleming Award

City ________________________________________State________
Phone _______________________ Fax _____________________

A. In what way does your nominee exemplify what Moro Fleming stood for?





B. What was your nominee's significant role in areas of Employment Programs/Services, Independent Living Programs/Services, Disability Determination Services or other?




C. Describe how your nominee has benefited the disability community in Massachusetts.


Please use additional sheets if necessary. Thank you!

Please fill out the attached nomination form and return it in to:

Consumer Involvement Program
BOSTON, MA 02111


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.