There is a momentum around developmental disabilities. Not just in Marion, but across the country. More than ever, I have noticed the DD world is not its own island. Toyota has included those with disabilities in their new campaign, “Start Your Impossible,” Dwayne Wayne (The Rock) is staring in a new thriller called Skyscraper where he beats the odds and does it all with one leg.
As the superintendent of the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities, it is my number one job to lead our team to ensure that those served get the best service from us, but more importantly, that their lives are full. It’s our job to be sure that their goals are being reached and after that victory, there is a goal set for their next milestone. It’s our job to continuously fight for their right to be included, to be part of the community – so much so that no one even knows they are fighting through personal challenges and disabilities that make them stronger than any of us.
It’s a new year, and we can be proud of our past accomplishments. We not only survived privatization, but we did so with no gaps in service and so seamlessly for those served that many didn’t even realize it happened. We have successfully relocated our staff. Early Intervention made a huge transition from a classroom setting to natural environments. And finally, the list of providers is growing which provides people with more options and choices for services and care.
Now it’s time to focus on the future. Let’s continue this positive momentum and share the great stories and the work that we do throughout our community. Our focus for 2018 and beyond is the community. The people that we serve are the friends and neighbors of our community at large. Let’s showcase their talents, create meaningful partnerships that provide better service for the lives that we touch each year, and create community awareness that does not go away after the polls close. Year-round education and involvement is our focus.
Our entire team needs to have that fight that is necessary to bring real change to Marion County for those we serve. We are looking for real inclusion, partnerships that provide opportunities for those we serve to grow, prosper, and feel like a part of it all.
I feel great about the energy from staff, our board, family members, and select community members who have the same passion we have. Let’s use this to turn things around and make the community understand why we are here and why their support is important.
Let’s go forth and unite all of Marion County to support DD!
Thanks for being a part of the journey. Onward and upward!
Cheryl Plaster, Superintendent