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Adam Bleakney - Illinois Wheelchair Athletics`

Alexis Wernsing Innovation Award—University of Illinois

Adam Bleakney has served as the Head Coach of the University of Illinois Wheelchair Track and Road Racing team since 2005. In that time his athletes have won 44 medals across three Paralympic Games while setting 13 world records on the track, and have won the Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Chicago Marathon and NY City Marathon. In recognition of such performances, Adam has been named the USOC U.S. Paralympic Coach of the Year on three occasions (’07, ’13, ’16).

Since its inception in 1948, the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services has sought to advance the educational, social, psychological, and vocational participation of persons with disabilities through the collaborative promotion, provision, and/or pursuit of innovative accommodative and educational services, and interdisciplinary disability research. DRES has a rich and storied history of programmatic firsts in interdisciplinary disability research, many of which resulted from the applied disability research and/or educational outreach of its faculty and staff.