Two disability service providers honored on King Day

Two disability service providers were honored with Champions of Change Awards, as part of the 2024 One Dream, One Minnesota […]

Susan Outlaw, current school executive director with Dyan Sherwood, first executive director, holding an award.

Two disability service providers were honored with Champions of Change Awards, as part of the 2024 One Dream, One Minnesota event January 15. The 38th annual state celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. martin Luther King Jr. was held January 15, with Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan as hosts. The event featured speakers and performances, as well as an awards ceremony. 

Metro Deaf School is one of the 2024 honorees. The St. Paul based school is the first deaf charter school in the United States and the third charters school to open its doors in Minnesota. The school serves a population of 155 students, ranging in age from births to 21 years. 

Workabilities clients holding first aid training certificates.

Students come from 43 different resident school districts. Many districts directly place students at the school and work in partnership with Metro Deaf School. 

Students reflect the full diversity of Minnesota and experience the life-changing opportunities to be educated in a bilingual English/ASL setting where they can communicate directly with every staff members and peer. 

Workabilities Inc. was another award recipient. The day training and habilitation program has served clients with disabilities since 1954. Clients range from those who are medically fragile with complex physical needs to those who need minimal coaching and supervision, and benefit from paid work opportunities. 

Workabilities provides day training and habilitation, pre-vocational and structured day services. The non-profit has more than 200 workers and provides a reliable and dependable workforce. It provides services that are unique in that the nonprofit is able to provide training and support to adults with developmental disabilities with the widest range of needs and abilities. This is accomplished through four separate groups, each with its own program focus and staffing capability. Clients are provided paid work opportunities, (primarily in-center with community job sites available), opportunities to volunteer within our community as well as work skill training to develop and maintain skills. Activities are offered that focus on social and recreational skills as well as functional independence. 

Other honorees are Sen. Jamie Becker-Finn; Pilgrim Baptist Church of St. Paul; Bo Thao-UIrabe of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders, the Minneapolis-based Monitors Club, Henry Jimenez of the Latino Economic Development Center and Kelly Drummer of Migizi Communications. 

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