Gov. Tom Wolf Proclaims March 2017 Intellectual Disability Awareness Month

Mar 10, 2017

March 2017

WHEREAS, people with an intellectual disability are of all racial, ethnic, educational, social, and economic backgrounds, yet all are valued members of society who find fulfillment living everyday lives; and

WHEREAS, we value what is important to people with disabilities and their families who are striving for everyday lives no different than that of all other citizens; and

WHEREAS, I signed an executive order to increase integrated employment opportunities among people with disabilities in Pennsylvania because I recognize that individuals with disabilities have the capacity to positively contribute to the development of Pennsylvania’s economy; and

WHEREAS, my administration and the Department of Human Services have committed to launching the Supporting Families Initiative, which will provide grants to regional collaboratives to encourage families of individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism to have high expectations of full and purposeful lives that include meaningful jobs in the community, friendships, health, safety, and spiritual and social opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Human Services published Everyday Lives: Values in Action to guide the Office of Developmental Programs as it develops policy and designs programs that guide everyone toward the possibility of an everyday life; and

WHEREAS, the Department published Everyday Lives: Values in Action Information Sharing and Advisory Committee Recommendations, Strategies, and Performance Measures to serve as a guide for everyone engaged in developing, providing, and advocating for services and to measure our progress; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Human Services also provides free access for families and individuals with a disability to an online learning center, the College of Direct Support, to learn more about disability services, advocacy, supports, and inclusion; and

WHEREAS, early intervention, education, employment, and home and community-based services continue to be vital to enabling citizens with an intellectual disability to enjoy the rights of citizenship and to participate in the life of Pennsylvania’s communities.

THEREFORE, to recognize the many accomplishments and contributions of people with an intellectual disability, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim March 2017 as INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH. I encourage all citizens to support Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability and their families in all aspects of Pennsylvania community life.

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