INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES MONTH
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation that the month of March should be recognized as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Awareness Month to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” The proclamation urged all Americans to join the President “in according our fellow citizens, with such disabilities, both the encouragement and opportunities they need to live productive lives and achieve their full potential.”
Now, 32 years later, the words from that first proclamation remain as true and relevant as they were back then. And, ACHIEVA’s mission – 68 years later – continues to increase public awareness and promote the importance of inclusion in all aspects of life. ACHIEVA envisions a community where disability is a distinction that makes no difference.
WHEREAS, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) constitute one of America’s largest groups of citizens who have disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the most effective ways for improving the lives of people who have an intellectual and developmental disability are through public awareness, education, employment, and access to life-long supports and services; and
WHEREAS, people with disabilities are full members of our communities; and
WHEREAS, each person should be valued for their individuality and unique personality and treated with respect and love that everyone deserves; and
WHEREAS, ACHIEVA is committed to supporting and empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their pursuit to achieve self-determined lifestyles, celebrate abilities and exceed expectations; and
WHEREAS, ACHIEVA advocates for and supports thousands of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Westmoreland County; and
WHEREAS, ACHIEVA recognizes the tremendous value and potential of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and for 68 years has been dedicated to the empowerment and full inclusion of every person with such a disability in all aspects of community life.
THEREFORE, we, the Commissioners of Westmoreland County, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas and Charles W. Anderson, do hereby encourage the citizens of this County to welcome and respect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life and offer our support and hereby proclaim March 2019 as “INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILTIES AWARENESS MONTH” in Westmoreland County.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands and caused the seal of the County to be affixed this 21st day of February, 2019.
Photo: Sharon Greene of ACHIEVA accepts the 2019 Proclamation along with Westmoreland County Commissioners Ted Kopas; Gina Cerilli and Charles Anderson.