Disability awards honor Michigan champions of investing in abilities

Champions who demonstrate outstanding commitment to Michigan's public vocational rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities took home awards last Thursday at an annual ceremony.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services collaborated with the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services to recognize employers, partners, customers and MRS employees.

MRS presented its eighth annual Champion Awards at an event at the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing.

This was the sixth consecutive year that MRS has expanded its highly successful award program to recognize not only employers but also partner programs, vocational rehabilitation customers with disabilities and MRS employees. MRS offices around the state nominated champion candidates. The consistent theme from those nominated was demonstration of the value of hiring and retaining vocational rehabilitation customers.

The event is in advance of Investing in Abilities Month in October, as proclaimed by Gov. Rick Snyder to encourage employers to hire qualified people with disabilities while focusing on their abilities and increasing the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of Michigan workers with disabilities.

Among the 2016 MRS Champion Award recipients was Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein who was recongized as a partner who has demonstrated a strong commitment to empower individuals with disabilities to take charge of their futures.

The MRS awards presented to the champions were engraved by students in the cabinetmaking/millwork program at the Michigan Career and Technical Institute, a vocational and technical training school operated by MRS in Southwest Michigan.

MRS assists more than 7,000 individuals with disabilities annually to achieve competitive employment and self-sufficiency. This is the 96th anniversary of the vocational rehabilitation program in Michigan.

Published: Mon, Sep 12, 2016

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