Itineris, Inc. professionals Ariyanna Carter, Joe Young and Annie Vital, along with employer Biggs & Featherbelle, recently received top honors from the Maryland Department of Disabilities. In a ceremony at Itineris, they were awarded Governor Hogan’s Citations for Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week.
Also receiving Certificates of Appreciation as honorable mentions were Itineris professionals Caroline White, Amy Sells, Leila Hanna Kohen, James Oliver, Amy Kisler, Linda Grygiel, Erica Groom, Marley Swisher, Melvin Penn and Lenssa Yadata.
The Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) joined other government agencies throughout the United States in celebrating September’s DSP Recognition Week. “We’re proud that so many Itineris professionals earned this distinction,” said Ami Taubenfeld, Itineris’ executive director. “They were named from over more than one hundred nominations the Governor received from across Maryland.”
According to the MDOD, DSPs can be the key difference between community participation and isolation for some with disabilities. Nationwide more than one million individuals and growing rely on services from DSPs to live, work and thrive in their communities.
Carrie M. McGraw from MDOD asserts that the honored Itineris professionals exemplify the ideal of full community integration and personify the goal of fully individualized services and support. “These professionals are vital to the life experiences of so many individuals with disabilities in Maryland.”
Itineris is a Baltimore based nonprofit that provides person-centered programs focused on helping adults with Autism develop the skills they need to obtain meaningful jobs. Itineris currently partners with 46 local employers, including Biggs & Featherbelle, throughout the region. Workers receive support from the aforementioned professionals with workplace training, social skills and on site job coaching. Biggs & Featherbelle, a health conscious bodycare company owned by sisters Kelly and Kasey Evick, have also been honored by the MDOD for DSP Recognition Week.