President Pro Tempore
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: October 26, 2011
Disability Concerns Chair Pam Henry, Pro Tem Bingman and
Hailey Mathis with the Employer of the Year Award
Oklahoma Senate named OKC Mayor's Committee on Disability 'Employer
of the Year'
The Oklahoma State Senate has been named “Employer of the
Year” by Oklahoma City’s Mayor’s Committee on
Disability Concerns. President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman accepted
the honor on behalf of the Senate, and was joined by former Senate
intern, Hailey Mathis. The OU political science student was paralyzed
in the May 3, 1999 tornado, but continues to live life to the fullest,
completing an internship with the State Senate during the 2011 session.
Hailey is one of several people with disabilities who have worked
for the State Senate, including former Miss Wheelchair America,
Cinda Hughes, and long-time Senate staffer, Charles Israel who suffered
from Muscular Dystrophy but continued to work as Senate webmaster
until his death in 2010.
Pam Henry a former Oklahoma City newswoman and member of the Journalism
Hall of Fame, is chair of the Oklahoma City Mayor’s Committee
on Disability Concerns.
“We chose the Senate for Employer of the Year because of
Hailey and other outstanding people with disabilities who were hired
into wonderful, productive and visible jobs,” said Henry.
“It does a world of good, not only for the people they hire,
but people with disabilities all over the state of Oklahoma.”
Hailey, who hopes to become an advocate for the disabled, said
her internship gave her a behind the scenes view of state government
as well as first-hand experience working with legislators. When
talking about her disability during the session, Hailey said, “The
only real limits are the ones you put on yourself.”
Pro Tem Bingman said Hailey and other individuals like her were
important assets to the Senate.
“Hailey’s story and the stories of so many other remarkable
people who have disabilities are simply inspirational,” Bingman
said. “We probably learned more from Hailey than she did from
us. Her can-do, positive attitude is something that each of us should
aspire to every single day.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605