In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.” The presidential decree called for the American people to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their potential.
On Wednesday, the Genesee County Legislature presented a DD Awareness Month proclamation to Arc GLOW, an agency that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties. The agency was formed by the Oct. 1 merger of the former Genesee-Orleans and Livingston-Wyoming Arc Chapters, and is the largest Arc Chapter geographically in New York State.
Earlier this week, the Livingston and Wyoming County Boards of Supervisors presented proclamations to Arc GLOW, and the Orleans County Legislature proclamation was presented virtually at their late February meeting.
“DD Awareness Month coincides with the kickoff of the agency’s annual Membership Drive,” said Sandy Konfederath, Arc’s coordinator of community relations. “Membership is the heart and soul of our organization. Members who renew or sign up each year give us a louder voice to advocate for funding, programs and services at the state and national levels.”
Individual Memberships are $1.00. Any level selected above and beyond that amount enhances advocacy efforts.
The proclamation reads as follows:
WHEREAS, people with a developmental disability are of all racial, ethnic, educational, social, and economic backgrounds, and all are valued members of society who find fulfillment living everyday lives, and
WHEREAS, we value what is important to people with disabilities and their families who are striving for daily lives no different than that of all other citizens, and
WHEREAS, early intervention, education, meaningful work, and home and community-based services continue to be vital to allowing citizens with a developmental disability to enjoy the rights of citizenship, achieve personal success and allows them contribute to their local communities alongside their neighbors without disabilities, and
WHEREAS, Genesee County Legislature recognizes the many accomplishments and contributions of people with developmental disabilities, we encourage all citizens to support Genesee County residents with developmental disabilities and their families in all aspects of life. Now therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Genesee County Legislature does hereby proclaim March 2022 to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and urges all citizens to give full support to efforts towards enabling people with developmental disabilities to live full and productive lives of inclusion in our communities.
Photo: Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, whose daughter is served by Arc GLOW, presents the proclamation to Arc GLOW CEO Martin Miskell, Board President Cheryl Englert and Board Member Susan Maha. Submitted photo.