Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month celebrated

| March 1, 2013

COSHOCTON – Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is here and the Coshocton County Board of DD has a variety of activities planned to honor and celebrate its clients.

“We want the community to be aware of individuals of all ages with disabilities,” said Debbie Croft, who is a physical therapist at Hopewell. “We also want them to be accepted and make it known that they have something to give to all of us.”

This year’s theme is Look Beyond and the public is encouraged to see that people with disabilities have potential, a future, capabilities and the ability to bring joy.

“We always look beyond to maximize the potential of all the individuals we serve in this county to help them reach their goals and dreams,” Croft said.

On March 5, adults will attend the DD Awareness Month Kick-off at the State house and on March 6, a community breakfast will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Hopwell School. Ohio State Director of DD John Martin will speak and community awards, door prizes and tours of facilities will be given. The Coshocton County Commissioners also will sign the DD Proclamation and Ridgewood High School Basketball Players will read to students at Hopewell School.

This month, Coshocton DD clients also will get to showcase their athletic skills. Special Olympics for adults will be held Tuesday, March 19 and for school age children on Thursday, March 21. Both events will be at Kids America.

There also are two events planned for Wednesday, March 20 at Hopewell School. A presentation on bullying by Casey Claxon will be held during the day and the community dinner will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The dinner will include celebrity servers, adult artwork, Hopewell students singing at 5:45 p.m. and a presentation by the Boy Scouts Venture Crew.

“The bullying program is new for us this year,” Croft said. “We have invited some public school kids to attend because we like to integrate them with our Hopewell kids. That is something that is very important to us.”

DD clients also will shine on Tuesday, March 26 during the second annual talent show at Hopewell Industries.

“We have almost 20 acts signed up so far,” said Angela Richcreek, director of community employment services. “There will be a lot of singing and dancing, people telling jokes or sharing trivia and some funny little skits.”

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show will start at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

“It’s a great way to get people in our business and see what we do,” Richcreek said. “People may not get to interact with the individuals, but they will at least get to see them in a different light.  We were really pleased last year. We expected 50 people and over 100 showed up and the show went on until about 9 p.m. It was long, but we all had a great time.”

The goal of the month also will be shared with the public on Tuesday, March 12, when Shannon Shontz and Traci Keesee are interviewed at 9 a.m. on the WTNS radio talk show and the last week of March when the WTNS learn-a-word will be done using developmental terminology.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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