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Ray Charles Honored for Disability Work

Music legend Ray Charles was honored at the 20th annual Media Access Awards for raising awareness about disability issues in the entertainment industry.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists presented Charles, 72, with the Disability Awareness Award at a Universal Studios ceremony on Saturday.

Charles, who lost his sight at age 7, has won 13 Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1982 and was one of the original inductees to the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1986. Classic songs include “I Got a Woman,” “What’d I Say” and “Georgia On My Mind.”

People with disabilities make up 20 percent of the U.S. population, but less than 2 percent of TV and film characters have disabilities, according to the California Employment Development Department.

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