Wall of Fame
Honoring those who build a more inclusive world
In 2020, we chose these heroes as our Wall of Fame Honorees:
To all the unsung heroes who went above and beyond to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic,
thank you for your selfless service to our community!
San Antonio, TX – The low expectations for success and lack of opportunities for participation experienced by a totally-blind classmate inspired Goldman to become a special-education teacher. As a teacher of the visually-impaired, Goldman recognized the need for helping children with severe, multiple disabilities. She developed an innovative approach that demonstrated results not achieved through traditional ways of working with these youngsters. This led to the creation in 2003 of TEAMability, a non-profit that helps children deal with complex disabilities. Her expertise has facilitated collaborative relationships with physicians, schools, universities and community agencies to further public understanding of the needs of disabled children.
Austin, TX – In 1989, Horton and wife Judy – parents of 34-year-old daughter Kelly, who has Down syndrome – created Down Home Ranch, a 410-acre farm and ranch in Elgin that provides inclusive, affordable housing for Kelly and 40 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Residents, or “ranchers,” enjoy full and inclusive lives there and live in an array of residences suited to their abilities. Down Home Ranch also serves adults in the community through its Day Program, and its summer residential Ranch Camp brings joy to 90 adults with IDD during three-week-long overnight camps. In 2016, Morton launched a new non-profit, Point Rider Foundation, to share his expertise in helping families and non-profits nationally to realize their housing goals.
Erin O'Meara Kiltz
Georgetown, TX – In 2011, Kiltz and her husband founded Brookwood in Georgetown (BiG), a non-profit that provides meaningful social and vocational opportunities for adults with disabilities. Their inspiration was daughter Gracie, who was born with Down syndrome and who suffered from leukemia-treatment complications that left her without speech or mobility. BiG gives participants, called “Citizens,” the opportunity to create marketable items such as pottery, soaps, handmade cards and fudge. All Citizens at BiG earn the respect of community members who purchase their products at the BiG shop, café and greenhouse. Gracie passed away unexpectedly in September 2018 at age 27, yet the Kiltzes remained committed to helping the special-needs community.
Chicago, IL – After graduating from high school, Kuntz went on a mission trip and met a set of twins with complex medical conditions – Prince and Ellie – in Ghana, where disabled children are viewed as punishment to the mother. She applied for and was granted custody of the twins, but days after celebrating his first birthday, Prince died. Kuntz returned to the U. S. with Ellie and became a strong advocate for children with special needs. She helped Chicago build its first accessible playground, used social media to share do-it-yourself tutorials on how to adapt toys and furniture for children with special needs and solicited donations for other families in need. Kunz now works for the Nora Project, an elementary school curriculum that pairs children with disabilities with participating classrooms.
Namutamba, Uganda – Since childhood, Nakafunvu has been challenged with a walking impairment and has personally experienced challenges facing children with disabilities in Uganda. She now devotes her life to helping underprivileged children in her country up to age 17 through the Namutamba Rehabilitation Centre for Children. As head of the centre, she reaches out to disabled children with a caring attitude, compassion and integrity. The environment in Uganda is not always favorable for a wheelchair-user like Nakafunvu, but she is not intimidated by the perils of traveling through rough, potholed streets in order to serve as a role model and achieve her goals.