To the editor:
I am writing to invite the community to join Madison Cortland ARC in observance of March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and to recognize the many achievements made by people with developmental disabilities.
Every day, Madison Cortland ARC provides services to over 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities in Madison and Cortland counties. People are receiving much-needed services at Madison Cortland ARC such as Day Habilitation, vocational training, community habilitation, residential programs and more. They are making their own choices.
Many of us can still remember a dark period in our history when these were not options for people with disabilities. We have come a long way from a short half-century ago when putting your loved one who had a disability in an institution was standard practice.
However; as much progress has been made and doors to opportunity have been opened in the field of disabilities, there is still much work to be done. Once again, cuts to programs and services that people need are being proposed as we move toward uncertain economic times here in New York. The situation looks serious.
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a perfect time to recognize the contributions that people with disabilities are making in their own communities. It is also a perfect time to help make a difference. Ways you can help include calling your elected officials and asking them to support legislation that benefits people with disabilities and by joining Madison Cortland ARC's membership.
The more members we have, the louder our voices are in Albany and Washington, DC. Please mail your tax deductible membership to: Madison Cortland ARC, 701 Lenox Ave., Oneida, NY 13421.
Remember, together we can make a difference. We can continue to build futures.
Raymond A. Lewandowski
Madison Cortland ARC