To honor Emergency Preparedness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month the Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD) presents the 2012 ANNUAL AWARDS EVENT and Panel Discussion. The event will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the DS Event Center in St. Paul on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Admission is $15.
Joseph Shapiro, National Public Radio correspondent and author of the ground-breaking disability-rights book “NO PITY: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement” will deliver the keynote speech at the event wherein he will discuss how infrastructure is crucial to successful employment for people with disabilities.
AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
ABOVE AND BEYOND VETERAN’S EMPLOYMENT AWARD — Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota (DAVMN)
With the challenge to hire 4-5 additional employees, the organization focused on new returning combat veterans disabled in the current wars. The DAV has successfully hired 5 young Iraq/Afghanistan disabled veterans.
ACCESS AWARD — Bob Brown, of Mountain Iron, MN
Bob, who is the Access Director at Center for Independent Living of Northeastern Minnesota Services, is been involved with the Ramp Project for 18 years. He’s help build more than 700 home access ramps for people who use wheelchairs.
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR (large) — Walgreens Distribution Center in Rogers, MN
The facility in Rogers employs about two dozen workers with disabilities, some deaf or hard-of-hearing, and some who have other types of disabilities. For example, Walgreens supports deaf employees is by hiring sign language interpreters and promoting signing in the workplace.
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR (small) — LJP Enterprises Waste & Recycling in North Mankato
An exemplary employer in providing accommodations for applicants and employees during the job application process, in the work environment. It provides disability awareness training to employees, job restructuring for employees with disabilities, requested and paid for sign language interpreters, and modified training materials.
MENTORSHIP AWARD (Corporate) — Cargill’s LEARN Program in Hopkins
Committed to removing barriers to employment and post-secondary education for high school students with disabilities. It serves young adults with disabilities, ages 18-21, who are enrolled in Transition Plus, a shared student transition program between Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minnetonka school districts. The program providing individual career exploration and job skill development through work-based learning experiences with Cargill businesses and functions. The long-term goal is to help students develop skills and independence to enable their success in entry-level employment and/or explore post-secondary training and education opportunities aligned with their career goals.
MENTORSHIP AWARD (Individual) — Vicki Dalle Molle of SEMCIL and DHS
Vicki became Executive Director of SEMCIL over 10 years ago. She now is going to DHS. SEMCIL has provided extensive services to people with disabilities from independent living to home care and beyond.
MINNESOTA AWARD — Bruce Lattu of MnDOT
Regardless of his own disability, Bruce goes out of his way improve someone’s day. Throughout his career he has worked to empower those with disabilities to be self advocates. He has also worked to ensure that MnDOT as well as other state agencies are aware of not only the minimum expectations of what the law requires but also why it is not only right, but good to go beyond those basic levels. In his more than 20 years of service to the State of Minnesota as an employee, Bruce has worked to empower others to ask for the reasonable accommodations they are entitled to and has worked to find creative ways to meet the needs of people with disabilities so that they can get and maintain employment. Through Bruce’s work on such committees as the Central Corridor Project the community at large has a greater awareness of disability and that it doesn’t have to be a scary thing to be avoided.