The event highlighted several individuals and businesses that have done exceptional work in the advancement and support of individuals with disabilities.
AIDB President Dr. Terry Graham said it is hard to find a job in today’s economy and the people who continue to make it possible for disabled persons to be employed not only add diversity to their workplace but to that individual’s character.
After a presentation of the colors by Talladega High School’s JROTC, several awards were given out to members of the Talladega community who were honored for their hard work and dedication to the employment of disabled persons.
Jackie Potts received the Educator of the Year award for her work with disabled students at Sylacauga High School.
“Special needs children and adults have a special place in my heart,” Potts said.
“I think an award like this goes not only to the person but to the people who have supported the person who’s received it.”
Potts was accompanied by her colleagues and supporters from the Sylacauga School System, including Superintendent A. Renèe Riggins.
Nadine Ballard received the Individual of the Year award for going above and beyond in her job as secretary for the director of blind services at AIDB.
“A job description is just writing on a piece of paper,” Ballard said. “It’s about what it takes to get the job done.”
And that job, Ballard said, is to make sure that disabled people are successful and to encourage them on their path to employment.
After working at AIDB for 21 years, Ballard said it is an honor to receive such an award and credits the people she works with for keeping her going.
“The people I have worked with have planted something inside me to make me a better person,” Ballard said.
Jeff Lang was the recipient of the Employee of the Year award for a large business. Lang is a production worker for Industries for the Blind and is a graduate of the Helen Keller School.
After working with AIDB for many years, Lang said he was overjoyed and thankful for the honor.
Barbara Scott accepted the Partnership of the Year award on behalf of the Talladega Career Center, and thanked her team for their hard work in servicing the Talladega community.
Geni Certain, editor of The Daily Home, accepted the Media of the Year award on the behalf of The Daily Home.
Amber Williams received the Employee of the Year award for a small business, Jack’s Hamburgers of Piedmont was awarded the Employer of the Year award for a small business, and Eurest Food Services at Honda was awarded Employer of the Year for a large business.