Since 2013, FRC created the Stephen R. Wise Advocacy Award to be given annually to recognize a dedicated Florida leader and champion who promotes independence through work and community activities for individuals with disabilities.
Stephen R. Wise is a former Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives (1988–2000) and Florida Senate (2002–2012). Wise earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College, master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and doctorate in education from the University of Alabama. His professional experience includes working as a teacher in Polk and Brevard Counties and Vice President of College Development at the Florida Community College. Throughout his career, he focused on the employment of people with developmental disabilities. His legacy includes the creation of the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation (now known as The Able Trust).
Stephen R. Wise Award Recipients
The Florida Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is an equal opportunity employer. It is against the law for VR as a recipient of Federal financial assistance to discriminate against any individual in the United States on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief. The application process used by VR to determine eligibility for services, any subsequent services and the entire VR process are subject to these non-discrimination requirements. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. VR program receives 78.7 percent of its funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. For the 2021 Federal fiscal year, the total amount of grant funds awarded were $176,836,896. The remaining 21.3 percent of the costs ($47,860,557) were funded by Florida State Appropriations. Revised October 2021.