Howard County Honors 2022 Employer Award Winners and Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

This year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation”. This year’s winners are:

Small Nonprofit Employer Award: Accessible Resources for Independence, Inc. – Accessible Resources for Independence, Inc. is recognized for its leadership by example as an inclusive employer and for its role in supporting Autism Hire Program participants.

Large non-profit employer: Columbia Association – The Columbia Association is recognized for promoting an inclusive and neurodiverse workforce and for providing work experience and other opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities.

Small For-Profit Employer Award: Anegada Delights Caribbean Cuisine – Anegada Delights Caribbean Cuisine is recognized for mentoring Project SEARCH interns and providing one-on-one training and support.

Large For-Profit Employer: Harris Teeter Store #382 – Harris Teeter Turf Valley grocery store is known for its inclusive hiring practices and the use of natural supports in the workplace.

Large for-profit employer: Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. – Pappas & Sons Inc. is recognized for its participation in the Autism Hiring Program and for providing a welcoming work environment through individualized accommodations.

Public Sector Employer Award: Howard County Parks and Recreation Department – The County Parks and Recreation Department is recognized for its long history of providing inclusive work experiences, employment opportunities and accommodations to employees with disabilities.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Carol Beatty, Secretary, Maryland Department of Disabilities – Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty is recognized for her lifelong commitment to raising awareness about disability, implementing policies that remove barriers, and ensuring that the needs of residents with disabilities across the Maryland are satisfied.

The Commission on Disabilities presents these awards each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which was created to raise awareness of disability employment issues, promote inclusion and celebrate the many and varied contributions of American disabled workers. In addition to this year’s winners, the Commission also recognizes the following employers for their efforts to create an inclusive workforce: Clarks ACE Hardware, CVS Store #2043, Home Depot Store #2566 and System Mailroom Howard County Public School.

The 2022 keynote, “Disability and Diversity: The Case for Disability Amplification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” was presented by Katie Collins-Ihrke, MBA, MS, Director Executive of The Arc of Howard County. Ms. Collins-Ihrke’s presentation provides concrete examples of how entities can intentionally include persons with disabilities in their justice, equity, diversity and inclusion framework.

For questions regarding this rewards program, contact Erica Lewis at 410-313-6402 (voice/relay) or email [email protected].