SCIOTO — Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month officially began in 1987 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan who urged Americans to provide individuals with developmental disabilities “the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve to their full potential.”
On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the Scioto County Commissioners continued a long standing tradition of issuing their own proclamation supporting the local DD community. Special Olympians and students at the Vern Riffe School, Jon Mitchell (student and basketball player), Mikah Redoutey (student and cheerleader), and Beth Grate (student and basketball player) were in attendance as the proclamation was read. Bill Adams, Scioto County advocate and recently appointed member of the Scioto County DD board was also present to receive the proclamation.
Commissioner Scottie Powell read the proclamation to the individuals who were present this year and stated that it was a singular honor to be able to bestow this proclamation, in particular, to our partners in the Developmental Disability community. Commissioner Powell also told the group that this particular proclamation was special for him since it was his first proclamation after being elected to the position of Scioto County Commissioner.
Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the number of individuals in attendance this year was limited and Commissioner Bryan Davis told the group that he missed the interaction with local groups such as the Impact Team and the annual Hardwood Heroes basketball game and he was looking very forward to the day when we can resume these activities. Commissioner Davis also discussed how he appreciated the collaboration between the commissioners and the county board of DD.
The commissioners recently approved the appointment of Bill Adams to the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities and as the first board member who is served by the board; this was a watershed moment for Scioto County. Bill Adams brings a new perspective to the board.
As a Shawnee State University graduate, as a paid advocate, and as an individual who receives services from the board; Bill is able to discuss issues that affect the DD community firsthand.
Bill has spent years advocating for the DD population and is a member of the Southern Ohio Advocacy Group, People First of Ohio Board member, project STIR facilitator, member of Sons of the American Legion Lucasville Post #363, an elder at Christ Restoration branch, and an advocate with Southern Ohio Council of Governments.
This year the events celebrating DD awareness month have been limited and most events have been virtual. Statewide participants were able to still experience the annual DD Awareness Day virtually via Zoom and enjoyed statements from Governor DeWine and Ohio Department of DD director Jeff Davis as well as the opportunity to lobby local legislators and discuss the needs of our community.
Scioto County DD has continued to provide support to individuals, their families, and providers of care throughout the pandemic. Like Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis, we are looking forward to returning to the community to celebrate the abilities of the individuals served by Scioto County Developmental Disabilities.
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