From left, Cindy Sump, the parent of a daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder; Shawnda Hicks, Clallam Mosaic’s Parent-to-Parent coordinator; Kelley Lawrence, Clallam County Health & Human Services Developmental Disabilities Employment coordinator; Randy Johnson, Clallam County commissioner; Timothy Bruce, Clallam County Health & Human Services planner; Patrick McFarland, DDAC Member and Special Olympics participant; Mark Ozias, Clallam County commissioner; Randi Jones-Pierce, Jones & Associates; Mary Jane Duncan, Clallam Mosaic board member. Submitted photo

Commissioners proclaim Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

On March 7, the Board of Clallam County Commissioners proclaimed March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Clallam County.

Since 1987, March has been “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.” During this month Mosaic highlights inclusion, contributions and togetherness. This year’s theme is “Life Side by Side.”

Thirty years ago President Ronald Reagan, following the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s and early 1980s, which had laid the foundation for significant social change, issued the first presidential proclamation calling upon Americans to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.

Today individuals with developmental disabilities are productive and valuable citizens, neighbors and family members deserving of respect and opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, independence and personal growth.

In an ever-changing America, there are many challenges ahead in order to continue past progress. What can the community or you do?

• Participate in a unified sport with Special Olympics or coach a sport or mentor an athlete in a leadership role.

• Become involved at Mosaic by teaching classes, supporting events, mentoring or developing friendships.

• Invite an individual with developmental disabilities to participate in your faith community.

• Encourage your schools to be inclusive of all students in the best ways possible.

• Invite individuals with developmental disabilities to your service club or to help on your community service project.

• Invite individuals with developmental disabilities to participate in your bowling, church athletic or community recreation league.

• Hire an individual at your business or support them as a co-worker at your place of employment.

• Patronize businesses that recognize the contribution of individuals with developmental disabilities and that hire them for real jobs in the community.

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