Community day for children with disabilities is Thursday

Published 12:28 am Friday, March 17, 2017

Local children with developmental disabilities will have the opportunity to come together next week to have a day of fun at the Miracle League Park.

Staci Wilson, of South Central Alabama Mental Health, said that her organization, the Miracle League of Covington County and the City of Andalusia have teamed up to hold at Developmental Disability Awareness Day 2017.

The event is set for next Thursday at Johnson Park, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

“We have invited the schools,” she said. “Our programs will be coming and the Miracle League players are invited, too.”

Wilson said they anticipate some 200 people to attend.

“The mayor is going to sign a proclamation,” she said. “And we’re going to have a baseball game. Everyone will be invited to play and everyone will be able to hit the ball and catch.”

After the game there will be a hot dog lunch and balloon release.

“We would like for everyone to come out,” she said. “There will be a bounce house, too.”

Wilson said those who attend will have the opportunity to find out more information about programs offered at SCAMH.

“We will have information about our services and how they can start receiving services,” she said. “A child has to be tested by a certain age for them to qualify for our programs.”

Wilson said there’s a statewide waiting list of some 1,000 children.

Wilson said the even is to spread awareness about individuals with disabilities living side by side with those who do not have a disability.

“This event will serve as a way to generate awareness and provide information about the available community services and the valuable and importance of adequately funding these services for the individuals with developmental disabilities and their families,” Wilson said.

National Developmental Disability Awareness Month was established in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan.

The proclamation was designed to show support and increase understanding of important needs related to developmental disabilities such as housing, transportation, employment, social services and education.

Additionally, it is a chance to break down social barriers and encourage inclusive living for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“It’s time,” she said. “To recognize the benefits that inclusion in our schools, businesses and communities can bring to all people – with or without disabilities.”

For more info or to volunteer, call Wilson at 428-5044 or Jonathan Royal at 222-2714.