CA Named Top Employer by Howard County Commission on Disabilities
CA is being recognized as a top-ranked employer by the Howard County Commission on Disabilities. CA was honored with the Employer Award during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, acknowledging workforces across the county that value diversity and promote equal opportunities for employees with disabilities.
“CA’s mission has long been rooted in improving the quality of life for people of all backgrounds, experiences and abilities,” CA President/CEO Lakey Boyd said. “We are fortunate to have a team that understands the value different perspectives bring to our workforce and how they can improve the overall experience of those we serve in Columbia. It’s more than a paycheck or work experience. It’s a network. It’s a family.”
“CA is here to ensure people don’t just feel welcome here in Columbia. Everyone deserves to feel a sense of belonging,” Boyd said. “That’s what community is about. We have an obligation to increase our capacity to understand and embrace people of all abilities. That means continuing to evolve to meet the needs of our changing community.”
The mission of CA has long been tied to the success of our diverse community, and providing opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities. CA’s DE&I Committee and Director of DE&I have identified neurodiversity as an ongoing priority in terms of who we serve and who we hire.
A number of CA programs proudly employ and integrate neurodiverse team members in important and fulfilling roles across the organization. Managers work directly with the team member’s support team during the onboarding process and throughout their employment to ensure they feel confident and successful in their role.
Partnerships and training
In Columbia, we’re fortunate to have various organizations who are doing incredible work to champion and support people of all abilities. CA is proud to team up with a number of partners to create a more inclusive community.
- Our fitness facilities work with Hammond High School to welcome about 30 students throughout the school year to gain valuable work experience.
- CA has invited representatives from the Howard County Autism Society to lead important training for some of our youngest team members on the Aquatics team, and we’re exploring ways to expand that type of opportunity to others in the organization.
- The Special Olympics of Howard County hold multiple competitions at CA facilities, something we are excited to facilitate and showcase for our community.
Facilities and programs
Offering ADA-accessible and compliant features is a priority in our most popular spaces. This includes everything from bathrooms to pool beaches and wading pools, slides, workout equipment, pathway ramps and more.
CA is also committed to providing opportunities for everyone to participate in programming. In addition to serving individuals of all abilities in their fitness journeys, the Columbia Art Center regularly hosts a group of neurodiverse individuals, encouraging them to explore their creative side.
CA continues to encourage a deeper understanding of those with disabilities and opportunities for everyone. We look forward to increasing our capacity to serve, understand and embrace all people moving forward.
About Columbia Association
Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services organization that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people. CA maintains more than 3,600 acres of open space and offers recreational, cultural and community services.
About the Howard County Commission on Disabilities
The Howard County Commission on Disabilities (CoD) was established by statute in 1988 to increase public awareness of disability-related issues; serve in an advisory capacity on County Government programs, policies, and budget; and assist County Government to ensure compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The commission’s mission is facilitated through the efforts of its members and its subcommittees.