Jefferson City mayor to declare March as disabilities awareness month
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor, Carrie Tergin will designate "March 2017 Disability Awareness Month" on Wednesday morning.
The mayor will present the proclamation to Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) Executive Director Vicky Davidson at the Missouri River Regional Library.
“The intent of the proclamation is to celebrate and inspire citizens through sharing stories, and especially encouraging the community during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to learn and embrace the abilities of everyone,” Mayor Tergin said.
Nearly 15 percent of Missourians are considered disabled according to the 2013 American Community Survey.
The council’s program director, Rebecca Bax, said initiatives like this help start conversations between non-disabled and disabled communities.
“It allows us to talk about the equity that people with disabilities are seeking as community members, as taxpayers and as neighbors,” Bax said.
As part of the “Disability Awareness Month,” the council sent posters to public libraries to try to help spark this conversation and educate the public.
The Missouri River Regional Library will be displaying these posters along with a collection of books that talk about how people with disabilities have contributed positively to society.
“The goal is to just bring awareness and information about how an individual with disabilities can be an active participant and that’s what they want. They want to be a part of the community and not segregated into a separate environment,” Bax said.
The MODDC believes bringing the two communities together into one is key to creating a better society for everyone.
“Our communities are richer when we’re together. As we start thinking about Medicaid changes and funding changes throughout our social services system, it’s really important to remember how important those systems are to support individuals so they can live in their community,” Bax said.
The event at the library is open to the public and will start at 9:30 am.