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Each year, during the month of March; which is “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month;” Ohio Valley Goodwill helps to focus public attention on peoples’ abilities and similarities rather than differences, and encourages everyone to welcome people with developmental disabilities into their communities. Many new opportunities are emerging in this spirit throughout the state, including a renewed commitment to community-based employment for people with developmental disabilities. This has been a founding principle for Ohio Valley Goodwill and its employment and training programs for almost 100 years in the Greater Cincinnati area. The 2015 theme for DD Awareness Month reflects this spirit — “Can Do, Like You!”
During the month of March, Ohio Valley Goodwill will be focusing on the individual successes of people that the organization serves and their abilities. People like Victor whose story was recently featured in a channel 12 news segment. Others like Kristine or Stephanie who are following their own paths to personal success. Each year, Ohio Valley Goodwill serves more than 800 individuals with DD through its partnerships with four local County Boards (Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren). A comprehensive array of services are offered which include everything from personal life enrichment and community integration to employment and job coaching services. The month of March serves as an opportunity to showcase the many individuals that Goodwill serves and their personal stories of achievement. The point of this effort is to promote public awareness about the many challenges that are faced and overcome by the individuals served through community support as well as organizational advocacy.
“Once we focus on abilities, we all can be more productive and comfortable with each other,” said Lon Mitchell, executive director of Ohio Public Images (OPI), an information and advocacy organization promoting positive images of people with disabilities, and developer of the annual Awareness theme. “By welcoming people with disabilities as equal partners in the workforce, we all benefit.” For more information about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Employment and Training Services, visit www.goodwillemploymentservices.com.