Annapolis, MD (October 15, 2021) - The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities today announced Katie Collins-Ihrke as the 2021 DisAbility Awareness Day Honoree. This annual award is presented to an individual in the community who has made a life-time commitment to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. The Honoree is recognized at the annual DisAbility Awareness Day event.
It is essential that the honoree is an innovative leader who advocates for and possesses a positive vision for the disability community,” said County Executive Steurt Pittman. “There is no one more deserving of this honor than Ms. Katie Collins-Ihrke.”
Ms. Collins-Ihrke is this year’s distinguished recipient of the award. Ms. Collins-Ihrke is the Executive Director of Accessible Resources for Independence, a non-profit organization whose mission is to maximize the independence of people with disabilities, so they enjoy self-directed, productive lives.
Ms. Collins-Ihrke has been a dedicated advocate for the disability community for many years. She has worked tirelessly to find innovative ways to reach the community during the COVID pandemic and to ensure that all county residents with disabilities have unfettered access to testing and vaccinations. Ms. Collins-Ihrke and her staff also arranged transportation and ensured accessible accommodations were available at vaccination sites.
“I congratulate Katie on being this year’s honoree and thank her for her lifelong advocacy to the disability community,” said Karrisa Kelly, Director of the Department of Aging and Disabilities. “Katie is committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities and delivering programs to maximize their independence. I am excited to see her being recognized as this year’s Disability Awareness Day Honoree.”
In addition to providing support to people with disabilities Ms. Collins-Ihrke has used her expertise to raise awareness on self-determination, self-advocacy and the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life to ensure their voices are heard. Ms. Collins-Ihrke also serves on numerous commissions within the county.
Ms. Collins-Ihrke will be honored at the annual DisAbility Awareness Day event on October 21, 2021 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. This year’s event will be virtual and is free to the public.
This event is held in October each year during National Disability Awareness Month. In addition to honoring Ms. Collins-Ihrke, businesses, employers and community groups will also be recognized for their contributions to improving the lives of people with disabilities over the past year.
For more information about this event or the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, contact the ADA Coordinator's office at 410-222-4383. Anyone needing accommodations should contact that office by phone or at [email protected]
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.