DNR to Host Disability Awareness Program
This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, Because We Are EQUAL to the Task, aims to highlight the importance of raising awareness and creating equal opportunities for those with disabilities. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is supporting the cause, hosting a program led by Jade Ann Gingerich with the Maryland Department of Disabilities.
The event will highlight the high rates of unemployment and under-employment among people with disabilities; offer possible employment strategies, techniques and programs to address the aforementioned issues; and support the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity for all. The program will also include a reading of the Governor’s Proclamation, an open dialogue and a light lunch.
Gingerich currently works as director of employment policy at the Maryland Department of Disabilities. Before her current role, she served in many other capacities for the State promoting employment among Marylanders with disabilities. Nationally, she played a significant leadership role in the development of the Think Beyond the Label marketing campaign, which encourages businesses to hire people with disabilities. Gingerich currently serves as vice-chairperson of the Center for Workers with Disabilities and on the board of directors of the American Public Services Commission.
Gingerich earned a M.S. in Special Education, specializing in Transition Services, from John Hopkins University. She completed her undergraduate education at Wheeling Jesuit University, in Wheeling, WV and at Hull University in England.
Most recently, Gingerich helped the State Department of Disabilities secure a $36 million federal PROMISE grant, designed to help those out of school find a secure job and decrease their dependence on governmental benefits.