Mark Baiada, the founder and president of BAYADA Home Health Care, was recognized by the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities (MCPD) with a 2012 Access Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to improve and increase access for people with disabilities throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Mr. Baiada received the award from Rep. Kenyatta Johnson at the 16th Annual Access Achievement Awards breakfast, which was held in Philadelphia on Friday, October 19.

“It’s encouraging to our community to know that we can go out and participate in events like the BAYADA Regatta and feel like everyone else,” said MCPD’s Executive Director Charles Horton. “That elevates our community, and that’s beautiful.” He added, “People like Mr. Baiada give—not with obligation—but because it’s the right thing to do. And we want to show him that we appreciate him.”

As the sole sponsor of the BAYADA Regatta for more than 30 years, Baiada provides access for people with disabilities to participate in the nation’s oldest and largest alladaptive regatta. Appointed and elected officials, who influence legislation for people with disabilities, are also invited to connect with the athletes, hear their stories, and present medals. BAYADA also supports access to other adaptive sports by sponsoring such initiatives as the RecFest—an adaptive sports expo, and the Magee Wheelchair Sports Program.

With a mother who became disabled and lived with him for 14 years, Baiada understands the importance of access to quality care from someone you can trust. “For the dignity and quality of life of people with disabilities, we must make sure quality inhome care remains a viable, accessible, and growing part of the long-term care system,” said Baiada.

Each spring, BAYADA employees from across the state of Pennsylvania meet in Harrisburg to visit with legislators and hold a press conference to advocate for improved and increased access to home-and-community-based services. During the 2012 BAYADA legislative day, more than 160 employees joined forces with Senator Patricia Vance and others to make heard the voices of people with disabilities.

In addition to ensuring that families receive the access to care and resources at home, BAYADA has also joined forces with the Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition (PEAC) to support the rights of a child to a free and appropriate education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). With a goal of breaking attitudinal barriers, the efforts are focused on the child’s right to participate and the school’s duty to accept the child.

BAYADA also initiates and hosts special needs trade shows so families who have a loved one with disabilities can access a broad array of local community resources. The events draw more than 100 organizations to one location for an afternoon of connecting families with the support they need.

About MCPD

The MCPD was formally established by city council to provide a forum for the disability 
community to express interest and opinions on city programs and services. It seeks to
bring positive visibility to people with disabilities. MCPD provides technical assistance to
the mayor and his administration on disability-related matters. In addition, MCPD staff
members help callers to resolve problems by referring them to local programs and
services.

 

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