March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is celebrated in March around the nation and on Feb. 19, South Dakota Gov. M. Michael Rounds signed an executive proclamation recognizing March 2009 as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in South Dakota. The theme for South Dakota's 2009 awareness month is "Just like You." Vermillion Mayor Dan Christopherson issued a mayoral proclamation at the city council meeting on Monday, March 2, proclaiming March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness month in Vermillion. The mayor's proclamation states that, "Through increased community, state and national awareness of programs and activities, the public will better understand the potential and needs of individuals with developmental disabilities." There to receive the proclamation was Kyle Hegge, vice president of the Vermillion People First organization. People First is a self advocacy organization made up of individuals who want to learn how to educate, advocate and celebrate the gifts and achievements of people with developmental disabilities. "I am very excited that the mayor and the city council presented us with a proclamation recognizing Developmental Disabilities Awareness month," said Hegge. "People need to see beyond a person's disability. I have a disability but I want people to see my talents and skills, not my disability." SESDAC, Inc. joins Vermillion People First in inviting the community to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Both organizations encourage people to use this as a time to recognize others for their abilities and not their disabilities. SESDAC, Inc. is a community support provider whose mission is to assist people with disabilities to live, work and socialize in their communities. Currently, SESDAC, Inc. provides a diverse range of services to 74 adults with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings in Clay and Union counties. The scope of services provided is tailored to an individual's needs and desires. SESDAC, Inc. offers residential supports, service coordination/case management, job development and job coaching, education and advocacy. SESDAC, Inc. also has two Family Support programs that work with children with disabilities and their families. Currently, they provide family support services to 60 children throughout 11 counties in southeast South Dakota and will be expanding to add an additional 20 children over the next few months. If you would like to read the governor's and mayor's proclamations, they can be found on the SESDAC, Inc. Web site at www.sesdac.org.
By David Lias For most people in Vermillion, Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson have been merely images on newsprint. The … Read Article