Recognizing Working Virginians
(Richmond) 16 framed photographs of Working Virginians with Disabilities were presented Friday to Commissioner James Reinhard, M.D., of the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. The photos were a gift of Virginia ACCSES, the statewide association of organizations providing employment, residential, day support, training, and support services for persons with disabilities. The pictures will decorate the halls of the Office of Mental Retardation, along with the 13th floor conference room at Central Office in Richmond.
Virginia ACCSES President Sharon Harrup thanked Dr. Reinhard for the department’s commitment to the possibility of work for all Virginians, along with its’ support for jobs as a vital option for community integration.
In accepting the gift, Dr. Reinhard spoke of the benefits when people work. “It
makes us all stronger, more diverse, and more accepting.”
The photographs show Virginians, on the job in computer and data entry, sewing and garment assembly, lawn maintenance, food service and clerical services.
Virginia ACCSES Executive Director Karen Tefelski called the photos “a constant reminder that Virginians with disabilities can work and want to work. It’s an important part of recovery for many.” She added, “It’s about ability…looking at their abilities, not their disabilities.”
Photograph presentation from VA ACCSES Board to Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services includes (left to right) DMHMRSAS Chief Deputy Commissioner Ray Ratke, Board President-Elect Chuck McElroy, Board Member April Pinch-Keeler, Board President Sharon Harrup, Commissioner James Reinhard, Board Treasurer Robyn Fitzgerald, and Director, Mental Retardation Services, Lee Price
Dr. Reinhard and VA ACCESS President Sharon Harrup admire several photographic prints, which visualize the value and importance of work to all Virginians.
Central Office staff members Cynthia Smith (left) and Carla Clayton inspect 5 of the 16 framed prints now on display in the 13th floor conference room in Richmond.
VA ACCSES Executive Director Karen Tefelski, along with Office of Community Contracting Director Paul Gilding (center) and Chief Deputy Commissioner Ray Ratke after Friday’s presentation ceremony.
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