Friday, March 23, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

When budding artist Jaymie Wolford-Eberle heard about a recent disability awareness-themed logo contest, she welcomed the opportunity to spread her wings and fly.

Jaymie's illustration of a butterfly earned fifth place in the contest for the 24th Annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, to be held May 24th at the Niagara Falls Conference Center.  To recognize her accomplishment, Jaymie's work will be displayed during the event, and she will be publicly honored alongside fellow finalists and contest winner Carrie Haas.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, which is open to the public, is expected to bring together 2,000 people, including individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, human service agency representatives, and local officials, to explore current issues in the field.

Jaymie, who is 20 years old, lives with eight other individuals at the Sanford IRA, an Arc of Livingston-Wyoming operated residence in Perry, NY.  Short for Individualized Residential Alternative, an IRA offers residents with disabilities the opportunity to live independently within the community with support from a 24-hour direct care staff.

It's no surprise that Jaymie's logo features a butterfly.  The 20-year-old has great enthusiasm for animals, including butterflies, hamsters, frogs, and — of course — the Sanford IRA house cat, Fluffy.

"When our staff received the contest information, we immediately thought of Jaymie as she loves to draw," says Sanford IRA Site Supervisor Dawn Ratigan. "We went over the contest information with her and told her to draw something she loves. She brought in the picture of the butterfly, and others of a ladybug and a lion head.  She asked us what our favorite one was. We loved the butterfly!"

Jaymie also enjoys swimming, bicycling, ice skating, singing hip hop, and playing the recorder.  She currently attends The Arc's Uptown Day Habilitation program, to help develop skills needed for future employment — which may include pursuing a job at a pet store.

Some of Jaymie's artwork:
To see more of Jaymie's art, visit Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, Thursday, May 24th at the Niagara Falls Conference Center, 101 Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls. Details are available at

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