Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and the Howard County Commission on Disability Issues have announced the winners of the county’s 23rd annual Awards Program. It honors the outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations that advance full participation in community life for all people, and promote the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability rights laws. This year’s winners include the following.
• Employer Award: Ledo Pizza of Columbia. Ledo demonstrates inclusive hiring practices and utilizes workplace accommodations that foster employee growth and independence.
• Employer Award: The Outer Office. The company is recognized for its commitment to inclusion, as evidenced by its hiring, accommodations and retention practices, and for providing equal opportunities to employees with disabilities.
• Service Award: Dawn Trakney. Trakney has mentored, coached and trained dozens of Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) students with disabilities participating in the school system’s Work-Study and Transition program.
• Individual Achievement Award (Youth): Will Alexion. After completing a year-long internship with Howard County government, Alexion was hired by the county’s Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits. He also has served as student member for the Commission for Transitioning Students with Disabilities.
• Individual Achievement Award (Adult): Christa Bucks Camacho. Camacho has spent years working on issues to improve the quality of life for people living in poverty, for children and for people with disabilities.
• Individual Achievement Award (Adult): Nicholas Stewart. Since 1997, Stewart has participated with Special Olympics Maryland as a multi-sport athlete. He also currently serves as the Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run Athlete Ambassador.
• The following employers also were recognized for efforts to build inclusive workforces: Eggspectation; Food Lion, of Scaggsville; Howard County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits; Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning; Weis Market, of Woodstock; and ZIPS Dry Cleaners, of Scaggsville.
Honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Roger Carter Community Center, 3000 Milltowne Drive, Ellicott City. The event will feature guest speaker Staci Jones, the statewide career and employment services coordinator with the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration.