ICED Announces Annual Awards for Hiring and Promotion of People with Disabilities

5/23/2013


IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler and CMS Disabled Workers Coordinator Jaci DeBrun present Kimberly Foy with an award for the Successful Disability Opportunities program. Kimberly who works in the Bureau of Civil Affairs accepted the award for IDHS for its participation in the SD program

Several IDHS staff were among those honored for doing an exceptional job of supporting persons with disabilities in the workplace Those receiving awards were the Illinois Tollway, State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), Schnucks grocery store and four employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services. The awards were presented by Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) Director Rocco J. Claps and Department of Illinois Human Services Secretary (IDHS) Michelle R.B. Saddler at a ceremony of the state's Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED).

ICED (www.state.il.us/iced) represents the interests of more than 3,000 employees with disabilities in state government. The Awards Program promotes independence, access, and opportunities for employees with disabilities.

"On behalf of the administration of Governor Quinn it is a privilege to be here today to shine a light on the truly exceptional performance of these organizations and individuals who have all worked so hard to create opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the workforce," said IDHR Director Claps. "Rep. Harris has worked tirelessly as an advocate for persons with disabilities. And the Illinois Tollway was deservedly singled out for recognition for its outstanding affirmative action record in employing people with disabilities, including recruitment, hiring and accommodation practices."

"IDHS is proud that four of our employees - among so many who work hard every day to serve and empower persons with disabilities around the state - were singled out for special recognition today," said IDHS Secretary Saddler. "We also salute the Tollway, Rep. Harris and all the other honorees for their dedication to creating a workplace environment that gives every worker an opportunity to fulfill their potential."


IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler and IDHR Director Rocco J. Claps present Wanda Bethel Satkas with the Advocate of the Year Award at the annual Interagency Committee on Citizens with Disabilities (ICED) awards in Springfield. Wanda works at the Ludeman Developmental Center and has been a tireless advocate for her son and others with autism.

ICED gave Certificates of Award to the following state agencies for hiring employees through the successful Disability Opportunities Program: The Departments of Military Affairs, Children and Family Services, Public Health, Natural Resources, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and Human Services as well as the Gaming Board and the State Retirement System.

The ICED award for Employee of the Year went to Richard Jonathas, a ten-year employee of DHS's Division of Rehabilitative DRS Services in Waukegan. Jonathas is described as a knowledgeable and dependable worker who empowers customers on a daily basis with his caring, positive approach. DHS employees Elisabeth Mann of Rockford and Benro Ogunyipe of Chicago received Certificates of Award.

The ICED Advocate of the Year award went to Wanda Bethel Satkas, a DHS employee at the Ludeman Developmental Center in Park Forest. Satkas advocates on behalf of her son and others with autism. She started an autism organization 16 years ago that has made a real difference in the lives of countless parents and persons with disabilities.

For additional information on ICED, please contact Susan Allen at the Department of Human Rights, at (217) 785-5119 (V), 1-866-740-3953 (TTY), or Susan.Allen@Illinois.gov.