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Anne Arundel County 2022 DisAbility Awareness Day Honoree Announced and to be Honored at October Event

Annapolis, MD (October 10, 2022) - County Executive Steuart Pittman and the Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues recently announced the name of the 2022 DisAbility Awareness Day Honoree. This annual award is presented to an individual in the community who has made a lifetime commitment to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. The Honoree will be recognized at the annual DisAbility Awareness Day event on Saturday, October 22, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Westfield Annapolis Mall.

The 2022 honoree is Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy, a nationally recognized speech-language pathologist with expertise in theoretical models and practical application of the link between oral language and reading, service delivery models in school settings, and teacher training. She once served as Senior Policy Advisor and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Mele-McCarthy currently serves as Executive Director of The Summit School, located in Edgewater, Maryland. The mission of the Summit School is to educate children with unique learning profiles to their fullest potential. Dr. Mele-McCarthy has created an environment where students with language-based learning differences don't need to hide or feel discouraged. She envisions a bright future for every child that attends her school. She sees each child for who they are and helps to develop individual treatment plans to meet their goals. 

“Dr. Mele-McCarthy’s work at the Summit School and contributions to individuals with disabilities cannot be overstated,” said Karrisa Kelly, director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities. “Her leadership and passion for accessibility for all has been instrumental in creating an environment at the Summit School where students with language-based learning challenges can thrive.”

This event is held in October each year during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In addition to honoring Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy, businesses, employers, and community groups will be recognized for their contributions to improving the lives of people with disabilities over the past year. The event will feature entertainment along with exhibitors sharing information on disability resources. ASL interpreters and CART will be available for the duration of the event. 

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about this event or the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, contact the ADA Office at 410-222-4383. Anyone needing accommodations other than ASL or CART interpretation should contact that office by phone or at [email protected] at least seven days in advance of the event. TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1. All materials are available in an alternative format upon request.

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