ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the Howard County Commission on Disabilities honored employers who value diversity and provide equal opportunities for employees with disabilities during the Commission’s 2022 Employer Awards ceremony at Belmont Manor and Historic Park in Elkridge. Pictures from the event can be found here

In Howard County, we understand the importance of a diverse workforce that reflects our community and is inclusive of employees with disabilities. I congratulate all of our 2022 Employer Award Winners for embracing equity in the workplace and ensuring a level playing field for people with disabilities. Employment is empowering and it is through the removal of economic and other societal barriers that we can achieve equity.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

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

Small Non-Profit Employer Award: Accessible Resources for Independence, Inc. – Accessible Resources for Independence, Inc. is recognized for leading by example as an inclusive employer and for its role in supporting participants of the Autism Hiring Program. 

Large Non-Profit Employer Award: Columbia Association – The Columbia Association is recognized for promoting an inclusive, neurodiverse workforce and for providing work experience and other opportunities to individuals 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 for providing individualized training and support.

Large For-Profit Employer Award: Harris Teeter Store #382 – The Harris Teeter Turf Valley grocery store is recognized for its inclusive hiring practices and for using natural workplace supports.  

Large For-Profit Employer Award: 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 Department of Recreation & Parks – The County’s Department of Recreation & Parks is recognized for a 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 lifetime commitment to raising disability awareness, implementing policies that remove barriers, and ensuring that the needs of Maryland residents with disabilities are met. 

The Commission on Disabilities presents these awards each year in October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which was created to spread awareness about disability employment issues, promote inclusion and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. In addition to this year’s award winners, the Commission also recognizes the following employers for their efforts to build inclusive workforces: Clarks ACE Hardware, CVS Store #2043, Home Depot Store # 2566 and the Howard County Public School System Mail Room.

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

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

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