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Local officials highlight inclusion for Developmental Disability Awareness Month

Administration for Community Living

March is Disability Awareness Month, and many are using the opportunity to spread information about how those with different abilities aren’t all that different after all. Officially designated Developmental Disability Awareness Month, March provides an opportunity for those outside of disabled spaces to learn and expand their knowledge base.

Kaitlyn Paschall, Program Director for Amazing Opportunities Kentucky, said disabilities come in all shapes and sizes, and that just because someone is disabled, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve opportunities.

“A lot of people, we’ve realized, don’t really know what disability is and what inclusion is. So, we really wanted to focus on inclusion. It doesn’t mean a group of people with disabilities hanging out, which they deserve to have their accomplishments celebrated, but it really means giving them equal access to opportunities,” said Paschall.

LeeAnn Creech, Executive Director of Amazing Opportunities Kentucky, said that while the Morehead community does a good job in most areas when it comes to disabled services, there is still room for improvement.

“I think a deficit in our community is education. Education, coupled with opportunity. And I say education for services, there’s so many families that struggle and there’s help for those families, and those specific needs, providing that education to those families and getting that education to them is something we’ve strived to do, and working with the schools has been an effort that we’ve made,” said Creech.

Creech said education is just the first step, but it’s an essential one. She said they have resources for families who reach out, but families need to know those benefits are there.

She added that working to raise awareness and making space for the disabled in everyday life and society is important.