A potpourri of DD Awareness Month activities and events around the state.
Thanks to all who submitted information for this issue of Pipeline!
Annual OPI Awareness Awards
The Ohio Public Images (OPI) annual Awareness Awards Luncheon last week was hosted by the Ohio Association of County Board Superintendents, and awarded more than 50 honors to individuals and entities that spotlighted positive perceptions of Ohioans with developmental disabilities during the period from December 1, 2013, through November 30, 2014. Entries considered in this competition were published, broadcast, produced, or otherwise occurred during that timeframe. The OPI awards video shown at the event highlights many of the awardees, while others, including the Self Advocate of the Year honors, are presented in-person at the conference luncheon.
Logan Brinson received the 2014 Self Advocate of the Year/Excellence award. The Hamilton County activist was nominated due to a long and extremely impressive list of achievements, among which was helping to organize an amazing array of community contact opportunities through the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services (HCDDS) Advocacy Leadership Network.
Stark County Uses Art to Demonstrate Community
Highlighting the month’s activities in Stark County is the collaborative art display, The Art of Community. It joins together drawings of people throughout the county…artists with and without disabilities, parents, neighbors, school children, teachers, local business leaders, and others. The Art of Community visually represents how each citizen in the community contributes their talents and abilities to make something beautiful. The art is made up of more than 1,300 paper squares, 4 x 4 inches in size, glued together to create a patchwork of color. “We were surprised and excited to see how many people participated,” said Therese Heitkamp, Stark DD Training Coordinator for the art program. “As we started gluing them together, putting a child’s square next to another, we saw how amazing it is all together.” She added,
The most interesting thing was that, initially, people were intimidated by a blank 4×4 inch white square. But, once they saw their square added to the whole, they saw how well theirs fit in with the others.”
The art show is on display at the main branch of the Stark County District Library downtown branch during the month of March. There are blank squares at the library so visitors will have the opportunity to be part of the project. This is the fifth year Stark DD has collaborated with the Library to raise awareness about developmental disabilities through the arts. Visit www.starkdd.org or ‘like’ on Facebook to view pictures and event details.
Richland County Takes the Message Outdoors
Activities during DD Awareness Month in Richland County include a coloring contest, an art and talent show, an Awareness Day event at Newhope Industries, displays at the main library and the Richland Mall, billboards, and the distribution of 4,700 informational pamphlets at 59 county churches. Below is one of the two billboards seen around the county this month:
In Lawrence County, Awareness is Airborne!
A rainbow of balloons drifted up to the sky in early March as students from the Open Door School at the Lawrence County Board of DD launched a month of activities to bring awareness of those with developmental disabilities. The balloon launch is the traditional start to the month. A message with an invitation to respond is tied to the balloon, and many have been replied to from miles away. It wouldn’t be DD Awareness Month without the annual Balloon Launch says Tim Nunnery, at the Lawrence County Board of DD. “We’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember.”
Scioto County, Ready for the Big Game
The annual Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball Game caps a full month of Awareness activities in Scioto County on March 28 at Shawnee State University’s Athletic Complex. The event is a fundraiser for the County’s Special Olympics, and several local celebrities and officials take on the Scioto County Board of DD (SCBDD) Shooting Stars. Many local celebrities, noted professionals, and elected officials are playing in this year’s game. The local program is overseen by an Advisory Committee and is accredited by Special Olympics Ohio. “We have individuals and staff members working hard to make the kick-off of the basketball game very spectacular,” said SCBDD staffer Shawn Jordan. More details about participating celebrities will be revealed at a later date. For more information, visit www.sciotocountydd.org.
Jessica Riggs, Scioto County Special Olympian basketball player, is ready for the grand finale of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March.