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Ginger Palmer – Bringing Awareness and Change in Disability Issues in 2008

Image: Ginger Palmer
Ginger Palmer, a resident of Edgewater, Maryland is nominated for the Governor’s 26th Annual Volunteer Service Awards.  Ginger is an active, effective volunteer who has brought awareness and change to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities.
A student of psychology and a graduate of Western Maryland College, Ginger went on to serve individuals with developmental disabilities as a professional.  Ginger already had an appreciation for the challenges of physical barriers to opportunities when she learned of her own disability in the early 1990’s.  Now, with the same professional dedication, she works tirelessly as a volunteer in support of disability issues.
Originally interested in making improvements in accessibility, Ginger’s spirit of volunteerism to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities has taken on a holistic charm in the vast array of disability issues for which she advocates.  In spite of the challenges imposed by her own disability, Ginger remains undaunted -- taking on several volunteer leadership roles in 2008. 
Volunteer Achievements for Ginger
Co-Chair, Maryland Alliance of Disability Commissions
A member of the Alliance since 2007, Ginger’s leadership abilities were quickly recognized by disability advocates from around the State of Maryland and, with their support, Ginger accepted the responsibilities that come with the position of co-chair of an organization that meets monthly.
“Visitability” Summer Study
As a result of HB 448 and its companion Senate bill, a task force to study accessibility in new home construction was formed at the end of the 2008 General Assembly.  As a representative of the Alliance, Ginger attended the work-sessions so that she could be prepared with informed recommendations.  Now in a new legislative session, Ginger continues to advocate for accessibility in construction and keeps a pulse on the progress of the issue.
Vice Chair, Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues (CODI)
Appointed to the CODI in September, 2006 by then County Executive Janet Owens, Ginger once again found herself rising to a leadership position within the year when her peers voted her into the position of vice chair—a recommendation that was affirmed by County Executive John Leopold in both 2007 and 2008.
Co-Chair, Disability Awareness Day Committee, CODI
Under Ginger’s leadership, this event, a long-standing tradition of the Commission, was moved in 2008 to a very popular venue in Annapolis.  Held in October in 2008 in honor of national Disability Employment Awareness month, more than 40 exhibitors set up at Westfield Annapolis mall, bringing awareness on disability issues, services, resources to thousands.  In addition, more than dozen community leaders were honored, including Lorraine Sheehan, for their contribution to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities as advocates, employers or by removing physical barriers in the community.
Member - Membership Committee, CODI and Legislative Committee, CODI
Ginger brings her volunteer spirit and background to the table when interviewing potential new members to the Commission as well as when she is reviewing and making legislative recommendations.

 


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