“Disability is a part of the consciousness in our community.”
Tony Sauer was injured in a motorcycle accident when he was 18 years old. A wheelchair user from that time on, he first became involved in the disability rights community through wheelchair sports. Tony co-founded the Nevada County Wheelchair Sports Association with Sam Dardick and Rick Waller and became active in the Nevada County Committee on the Disabled. Tony began working at FREED Center for Independent Living in 1990 and eventually became the center’s executive director. Tony left FREED in 2001 to work as the deputy director of external affairs for the California Department of Rehabilitation. In 2003 he became the first executive director of the Nevada-Sierra Regional In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority.
In April of 2007, Tony was appointed director of the California Department of Rehabilitation by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tony served in that role until his retirement in 2014.