Batavia, Ohio – The Commissioners designated October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Clermont County. The theme for 2013 is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.” Commissioner Ed Humphrey presented the proclamation during session stating, “We encourage the community to celebrate the 2013 theme within each workplace and call upon all Clermont County citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools to reaffirm our determination to create equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities within our communities.”
The proclamation was accepted by Matthew Stricklin, an individual with a developmental disability currently participating in Clermont Developmental Disabilities (Clermont DD) programs. According to Lisa David, Clermont DD Community Relations Director, Stricklin encompasses the meaning and success of the agency’s programs. Stricklin shared his story of joining Clermont DD and entering into the PRIME group last year. PRIME stands for Promoting Real Inclusive Meaningful Employment and offers classes/real life skills for individuals to experience community employment. After the workshop, he completed a work assessment at Danbarry Cinemas (Eastgate) and was successfully hired.
Stricklin now gives back to the PRIME group by donating his time to help others at Clermont DD reach their goals. Also this year, Matt received the “Self-Advocate of the Year” award at Clermont DD’s Good Fortune Recognition Dinner on October 22 for the progress he has made in his life over the past year.
Humphrey said having equal opportunities, for all citizens, to reach their fullest potential will strengthen and maintain the workforce in Clermont County and having workplaces that welcome all people, including those with disabilities, are a critical part of building an inclusive community with a strong and diverse economy. He ended the proclamation presentation encouraging the public to think “ability” and forget “disability.”