March is a rewarding month for me because it is the month to celebrate those we serve in the shape of Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. We did this in several ways this year. The commissioners got to hear from Travis and Tom at their open meeting. Both shared the reasons that they like receiving services from the County Board of DD and they did a great job! It made me proud and honored to lead this organization. During this meeting, Commissioner Applefeller read a Proclamation to further recognize DD Awareness Month. It was a great day!
We have flooded our Facebook page with the faces and stories of those that we serve. We have had a great variety of ages, abilities, and personalities. This too has been very rewarding to see and I look forward to seeing who we will feature each day. Special thank you to the Service and Support Administrators who helped Nikki track down people, provide details for their stories, take photos, and generally help in any way to make this happen.
Additionally, we have billboards promoting those we serve and we will wrap up the celebration with a presentation to the Marion Rotary Club this week. They will hear about all that we do and also hear from Chelsea Stutz about her successes and the support she receives.
The fact that we have a month to celebrate Developmental Disabilities is transformational. We have come a long way from where we started. Those served are treated more as equals and our community is recognizing their abilities and advocating for them. There is a momentum around this work, and I’ve enjoyed celebrating right along with them (and you).
One final note for this month. The Beidler Center office renovation work has been completed. Kevin, Tabitha, Beth, Janet, and Trish are finally out of the warehouse area and into a beautiful office space (which is overdue and well deserved). Thank you to all employees in the Beidler for your patients through the renovation. We now have a building that fits the purpose; to provide a better work environment for employees so they can provide more support for our people. As we know, our caseloads are not getting smaller so the Beidler also provides room for growth. Looking into the future and seeing our numbers grow, it is nice to know we have this option.
Thank you, everyone, for creating awareness for those we serve. Not only in the month of March but every day of every month. Your advocacy and support are changing lives and making a difference in our community.
Cheryl Plaster, Superintendent