Awards presented to those who

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

take ‘dis’ out of disabilities


Features Editor

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The Troy Area Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities hosted their Annual Recognition Reception Tuesday in the board room of

the Pike County Board of Education building in Troy. This year’s theme was "Ability You Can Bank On."

The event honored businesses providing opportunities for successful employment and recognized the success and contributions of individuals with disabilities in the work force.

Patrick Boykin was honored as the Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Boykin lost the use of his legs in a pulpwood accident and had been looking and hoping for work for years, when he was hired by Wal-Mart in the garden center.

"Patrick has been an exempliary employee for Wal-Mart," said Teresa Holmes, area employment coordinator Pike Area Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. "He respects individuals, serves the customer’s needs and strives for excellence in all he does."

"I thank Jesus for giving me the strength to be here," Boykin said. " After 22 years of not having a job, I went to Kevin Jackson (job specialist for Pike County) and asked him to help me find some kind of work. It took about a year and a half but he kept telling me to keep the faith. I kept the faith. Now, I have a job to look forward to every day."

Dan Green, Goshen High School, was named the Educator of the Year and modestly accepted the award, saying, "This is just what I do every day."

The Large Employer of the Year: Manufacturing Industry award was presented to Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls of Luverne. Patricia Barnes accept the award.

"I came here today, not to be thanked but to thank," Barnes said. "The employees with disabilities we have are outstanding workers. Send us more."

The Large Employee of the Year: Service Industry award went to Wal-Mart Super Center, Troy. Bobby Brackenride accepted the award accepted the award on behalf of all Wal-Mart stores everywhere. Wal-Mart is widely recognized for it willingness to employ those with disabilities.

The Pines Restaurant in Troy was named the Small Employer of the Year. Sandra Garrett accepted the award.


Corporation at Troy State University received the Partnership of the Year award and WTBF Radio of Troy was received the Media of the Year award, Juliette Adams accepted for the radio station.

Pike County High School’s Marilyn Thompson, who will retire this year, was recognized for her years of work with students with a certificate of appreciation.

Angeline Pinckard, executive director of the Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, congratulated the recipients of the awards and called the ceremony one of celebration.

"We are here today celebrating achievement and honoring those who overlook the first three letters of the word disability," Pinckard said. "These employers have been willing to look at what people can do and see them as people with abilities and realize what valuable employees they can be."

Holmes said there are more than 270,000 people in Alabama who have a disability and are of working age.

"More than 189,000 of them are not working," Holmes said. "This population gives employers a tremendous job applicant pool to draw from for all positions. Draftsmen, clerical workers, engineers, mechanics, laborers and bankers are all part of this pool. Having a disability does not mean you cannot work."

The Pike Area Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities is a subsidiary of the Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. The committee coordinates a network of local volunteer groups throughout the area and works closely with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) staff to develop employment opportunities and raise awareness of the needs and rights of Alabamians with disabilities.

In the fiscal year 1999, more than 5,700 Alabama companies turned to ADRS and its affiliates for assistance with recruitment and a wide array of consultant services, including training, assistance with retraining valued employees with disabilities, accessibility reviews and staff training.

Throughout the state more than 22 special events were held during October in observation of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.