During national "Employ the Handicapped Week," Oct. 3-7, five area residents were among 10 outstanding disabled workers from across the nation who were honored here for distinguished achievement.
Rosalynn Carter presented awards to the outstanding handicapped federal employees at the Department of Commerce Auditorium Oct. 6.
The workers who received the U.S. Civil Commission's "Outstanding Handicapped Federal Employee Award" came from five states and the District of Columbia.
Sharon H. Wilkin, a quadraplegic, is an employment opportunity specialist in the Employment Standards Administration of the U.S. Labor Department in Washington. Her job is to investigate complaints by veterans and handicapped individuals in the 10 regional offices of the Labor Department.
In addition, she monitors organizations with government contracts to see that they have adequate affirmative action programs for the hiring and advancement of qualified handicapped individuals and disabled and Vietnamera veterans.
Wilkins, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Illinois, became handicapped in 1958 when she fell from an amusement park ride during a trip to Belgium.
Robert Adams of Washington supervises a unit of specialists who provide evaluations of cost benefit methods used in mining mineral resources.
Adams, who earned a BA and a master's degree at Southern Illinois University, sufferred a severe spinal injury in a diving accident. He was totally paralyzed below the shoulders and in his hands, and partially paralyzed in his arms. In 1972, Adams received his doctorate from the University of Illinois.
In an effort to help other people with a disability like his own. Adams worked to get the nation's first ramped curb law passed in Virginia in 1974.
Dennis Meyers, who delivers mail at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Washington headquarters, is mentally retarded. But through special classes and self-discipline, Meyers learned to read and write at second-grade level.
Meyers' primary responsibility is to transport incoming and outgoing mail from the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the SEC. He makes siz regularly-scheduled trips to each office throughout the day and about eight additional trips for telegrams and emergency transmittals.
In his 12 years with the SEC, Meyers' work has been virtually error-free, according to his supervisors and fellow workers.
Eight years ago, Christopher Braningan began his career in the federal government as a temporary mail and file clerk. Despite cerebral palsy, which partially paralyzed both his legs and left him with impaired speech.Branigan has advanced to a position as a computer programmer.
Branigan, who works for the Defense Communications Engineering Center in Reston, was promoted to computer specialist in 1975 and assigned to the Management Information and Engineering Control Office, where he assisted in the development of the center's resource management plan.
In 1976, Branigan was promoted again and assigned to the Computer Systems Division, where he now supervises the maintenance of two sophisticated data systems.
Donna Pastore, who is blind, is a mathematics Braille specialist and the volunteer coordinator for the Library of Congress Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She has developed a system for training sighted volunteers in the special skills needed to transcribe science and mathematics into Braille.
Pastore, who holds two bachelor's degrees in mathematics, has worked for the Library of Congress since 1971, when she came to Washington from her native New York state.