Catherine Purple Cherry, a licensed professional architect and principal-in-charge of Purple Cherry Architects in Annapolis, who is known for her work with special needs populations, will receive the 2012 disAbility Awareness Day Award. The Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues will present the honor during the 2012 disAbility Awareness Day activities from 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Westfield Annapolis Mall. County Executive John R. Leopold will present this award and other recognition awards at 1 p.m.
“The Commission is pleased to recognize the outstanding and extraordinary contributions of this accomplished architect to families and organizations that work with individuals with disabilities,” says Ginger Palmer, Commission chairman. “Ms. Cherry has designed remarkable facilities to accommodate the special needs of children and adults to improve their lives.”
Among her many local architectural projects are a vocational center for Opportunity Builders Inc., a rehabilitation center for Arundel Lodge Inc., duplex housing for ARC of the Central Chesapeake, a vocational center and major renovation of existing facilities for Providence Center, and classroom renovation at the Summit School. She also has designed multiple other projects in other states.
Her articles on the special needs that architects must address in their designs have been published in professional publications, and she continues to be a speaker at various conferences related to design issues faced by those with disabilities in housing and schools.
Among her honors, Ms. Cherry received the American Institute of Architects Maryland Citation Award for Excellence in Design related to her work with Opportunity Builders, the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and the American School and University Award for Outstanding Designs for Special Needs Interiors. She also is a board member of AutismOne [cq] in Chicago, the Summit School in Edgewater, and Opportunity Builders Inc. in Millersville; and an advisory board member of the Cisco Center in Severna Park and the Echoing Hope Ranch in Arizona.
The public is invited to attend the free 2012 disAbility Awareness Day events. More than 35 exhibitors who provide services to individuals with disabilities will have free information. Additional awards will be given to employers of people with disabilities as well as to churches and other groups that have made contributions to the disabled community. The public also can watch a demonstration by Canine Companions for Independence.
The public can get answers on assistance with transportation, employment, housing, recreation, and access to other services during the event.
For information, contact the Americans with Disabilities Act office at the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities at 410-222-4383.