Governor Recognized with “Spirit of the ADA Award” for Efforts to Employ Individuals with Disabilities
American Association of People with Disabilities Honors Markell in Wash, D.C.
(Washington, D.C.) Joined by leaders from government, business and the disability community, Governor Markell was presented with the Spirit of the ADA Award at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) 2013 Leadership Awards Gala. The award recognizes extraordinary individuals who have shown leadership in support of the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) and AAPD’s mission of promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Governor Markell was chosen for his efforts as Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), including his yearlong Chair’s initiative, “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.”
“I believe people are defined by their ability, not by their disability,” said Governor Markell. “States have a duty to ensure that individuals with disabilities are empowered to achieve their full potential, which is why my initiative focuses on the role both state government and business can play in advancing opportunities for these individuals to be gainfully employed in the competitive labor market.”
Upon officially becoming Chair of the NGA in July 2012, Governor Markell announced his yearlong initiative focused on advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Now, halfway through his time as chair, the Governor is exploring model employers across the country who appreciate the benefits that employees with disabilities can provide for businesses of all sizes, including improving their bottom line and creating a more welcoming workplace. By this summer, the Governor will have developed a blueprint with concrete steps that Governors and states and businesses can take to provide opportunities that benefit both the individuals and the companies that employ them.
“I am honored to be recognized as one of the leaders working to improve the lives of people with disabilities,” said Governor Markell. “Ensuring we provide every person with the best possible chance to achieve personal and professional success will keep our country and our state moving forward.”
Widely considered one of the top disability gatherings in the nation, the Leadership Awards honor the people and organizations whose efforts are creating real and lasting change for Americans with disabilities. The Awards celebrate achievement, leadership, and progress in AAPD’s mission to promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities.
Other honorees this year include: Tony Coelho (Tony Coelho Leadership Award), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (AAPD Image Award), and George Gallego and Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt (Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards).
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation’s largest disability rights organization. It promotes equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Members, including people with disabilities and family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change.
Photos from this event are available for viewing online.