The Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs (vaACCSES) presented the award at its annual Collaborations Conference on Nov. 17.
Michael Summers, provost of the Virginia Beach Campus, accepted the award on the college’s behalf. In her nomination letter, Carmen Mendez with the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services and a vaACCSES board member, recognized Summers for his leadership and vision that resulted in meaningful employment for four people with severe disabilities. The workers are part of a crew that maintains the Virginia Beach Campus.
“He proves that it is possible for public entities to lead by example in the employment of persons with disabilities,” Mendez said. “What’s most notable is that these four workers were hired directly by TCC, as state employees, earning above minimum wage. These workers have been labeled as ‘most severely disabled,’ but what interested Dr. Summers and his staff was their ability to do the job and enjoy the work.”
Chartered in 1975, vaACCSES provides quality employment, residential, day support, training, and support services for persons with disabilities. Known as the premier association of community service providers, vaACCSES develops effective relationships with community partners and influences policy makers, funders and advocates through information, advocacy, education and training.