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Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues Announces DisAbility Awareness Day Honoree 2020

Annapolis, MD (October 23, 2020) - The Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues has chosen Norman Y. Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, as the 2020 DisAbility Awareness Day Honoree. Mr. Mineta will be recognized during the 2020 DisAbility Awareness Day on Saturday, Oct. 24, virtual presentation from 11 AM until 1 PM. 

Norman Y. Mineta, a resident of Anne Arundel County for over 20 years has a long history of advocating for individuals with disabilities in his roles as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, United States Congressman and Mayor of San Jose. His unwavering support for individuals with disabilities across our county, state and country has been both profound and instrumental in making public services and places accessible to everyone. 

As Mayor of San Jose, Mr. Mineta saw to it that it was the first city to ensure curbside cuts were installed and that sidewalks were accessible to people who use a wheelchair. Mr. Mineta led a bill that put billions of dollars into public transit to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities around the country. As U.S. Secretary of Transportation, he authored the transportation accessibility regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, celebrating it’s 30 year signing this year.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Anne Arundel County for my work and efforts on behalf of the disability community,” said Secretary Norman Y. 

Mineta. ”Of all my work that I have done over the years, it is the work on behalf of our disability community that brings me the greatest joy. The fact that I could be their voice as Mayor, in Congress, and at the cabinet-level has hopefully improved both the access to and quality of life of those facing lifelong challenges,” continued Mineta. ”Finally, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA, I want to recognize the bipartisan group I worked with in Congress, as well as the late President George H.W. Bush.  By working together we were able to improve millions of lives and I look back fondly on my work with each of them.”

“Mr. Mineta’s work on the Americans with Disabilities Act stands as a testament to his dedication to individuals with disabilities,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “His passion for accessibility for all has been instrumental in creating a barrier free environment for Anne Arundel County citizens as well as all Americans.”

"Mr. Mineta’s contribution to the American’s with Disabilities Act cannot be overstated," said Karrisa Gouin, Director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities. "With his contribution to transportation he saw to it that everyone has access to one of the most vital public services that ensure people can live independently."

"It’s an honor and privilege to have such a prominent figure living right here in Anne Arundel County," said Denise Portis Ph.D, Commission chairman. "His transportation expertise has been a cornerstone to the Americans with Disabilities Act for the past 30 years."

The public is invited to attend the free 2020 DisAbility Awareness Day, being held virtually this year. Individuals wanting to attend this virtual event must register online at: Executive awards will be given to employers of people with disabilities as well as to businesses and other groups or individuals that have made contributions to the disability community. Free entertainment will be provided throughout the event.

Award recipients include:

Public Service Awards - Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk, Herrington on the Bay, Jaime McKay, Teddy Krolik and the Maryland Transit Administration Team, Karrisa Gouin- Director of the Department of Aging and Disabilities, Kelli Maples-Bethel-University of Maryland, Kelly Sweeny-Anne Arundel Community College Disability Support Services Specialist, Pat Jarvis-Fidos for Freedom, Susan Thomas-Anne Arundel County Food Bank. 

Employer of the Year Awards - Author Evans-University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee-Annapolis, Gloria Dent, LightHouse Bistro and Catering- Annapolis. 

For more information about the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, you may contact the ADA Coordinator's office at 410-222-4383. Anyone needing accommodations may contact the same number or email [email protected]. TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1. All materials are available in alternative formats upon request.

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