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Opinion

REM Ohio encourages Ohioans to ‘Look Beyond’

3/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

In honor of Developmental Disabilities (DD) Awareness Month [in March], we at REM Ohio Inc. would like to take this opportunity to encourage all Ohioans to learn more about individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Our statewide campaign for this year’s celebration and community outreach is — “Look Beyond.” This theme invites people to look beyond an individual’s disability to picture that person’s potential, seeing the individual’s unique capabilities and abilities. One of REM Ohio’s goals is to reduce the stigma of a disability and replace it with an understanding of abilities.

Several local direct support professionals of REM Ohio, as well as individuals with DD, participated in the 2013 Developmental Disabilities Awareness & Advocacy Event held at the Statehouse in Columbus March 5.

DD Awareness Month not only offers an opportunity for increasing education, awareness and community inclusion but paves the way toward improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. Several awareness and outreach efforts will be hosted, and community involvement is encouraged throughout the year. It is, after all, often a lack of knowledge and attitudinal barriers that typically results in isolation of citizens and disconnection of a community.

Our hope is through education and support by our own friends and neighbors many fears and false public assumptions can be replaced with awareness, understanding and greater inclusion. Readers that are interested in bringing awareness and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities into their community can visit www.rem-oh.com for more information.

Jo Spargo, executive director, REM Ohio Inc.

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