Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Proclaimed Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Livingston, Wyoming Counties

All eyes were on Pete Yendell Thursday, March 8th at Hilltop Industries' production facility in Mount Morris, as the Lima Town Supervisor delivered an official proclamation that marks March 2012 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Livingston County.
L-R: Hilltop Industries Sales and Marketing Manager Rebecca Crocker, Hilltop Industries Director Kellie Kennedy, Arc Executive Director Chris Peterson, Lima Town Supervisor Pete Yendell, and the 2012 class of Leadership Livingston.
It was the first of two such presentations within the two-county service area of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, a 501(c)(3) private, not-for-profit agency dedicated to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

"The Livingston County Board of Supervisors ... urges the citizens of Livingston County to give full support to efforts towards enabling people with developmental disabilities to live full and productive lives of inclusion in our communities," Mr. Yendell said, to a roar of applause throughout the workshop floor.

Hilltop Industries is the vocational rehabilitation branch of The Arc.  The Hilltop program meets the needs of about 350 people annually through day habilitation and work programs, including community employment and workshops.  Workers at the Mount Morris facility carry out a variety of jobs, including packaging, assembly, and operation of a full service print shop.

Joining Hilltop participants for the reading of the proclamation were direct-support staff from The Arc and members of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Livingston program, who toured the workshop as part of their monthly session.

At its Tuesday, March 13th meeting, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors accepted a similar proclamation by unanimous vote.  Commenting on the recognition, Wyoming County Mental Health Director Stephen Snell stressed "genuine and heartfelt" appreciation for the seven million Americans living with disabilities, their families, and organizations such as The Arc in their focus on community inclusion.

Representing The Arc at the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors were Board Members Linda Leblond and Eric Parker, Executive Director Chris Peterson, Transportation Director John Prospero, Public Relations Director Jeff Thomas, and Public Relations Coordinator Bonnie McGoldrick.

Communities nationwide recognize March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to draw attention to the needs and potential of people with developmental disabilities.  The observance has been recognized nationally since 1987, when then-President Ronald Reagan called for the American people to build understanding and encouragement, and to provide new opportunities for people who have developmental disabilities.

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