The Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues will host its annual Disability Awareness Day on Saturday, October 26th at Westfield Annapolis Mall from 1:00-4:00 p.m. This year’s event will honor Michelle Bathras, who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
Ms. Bathras is the Chief Operating Officer of Bello Machre, an organization providing services for people with developmental disabilities. Ms. Bathras began working at Bello Machre more than twenty-five years ago as an administrative assistant and has also been a live-in house counselor. She led the creation of one of only two Developmental Disabilities Certified Nursing Assistant Certification programs in the state of Maryland.
Ms. Bathras and her husband Jeff are parents to three children, as well as foster parents for troubled children. They are now the proud adoptive parents of one of those children. Ms. Bathras has battled cancer for more than ten years, and remains involved in the breast cancer awareness and fundraising activities of Ride Across Maryland .
“Ms. Bathras has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life for those with disabilities, and has touched the lives of individuals and families,” said Ginger Palmer, Co-Chairperson of Disability Awareness Day. “The Commission is pleased to honor her lifetime achievement in this arena.”
Disability Awareness Day combines interactive exhibits, information on disability issues within the community, and live entertainment. The public is invited to attend, and more than 35 exhibitors who provide services to individuals with disabilities will have free information. The Opportunity Builders, Inc. (OBI) Bell Choir and Hands of Harmony will provide entertainment, and Canine Companions for Independence will perform a demonstration.
For more information, contact the Americans with Disabilities Act office at the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities at 410-222-4383.