More than 200 people attended the 2011 Disability Awareness Festival that was held on March 1 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Athens Community Center. “Together the Future is Brighter” focused on promoting positive perceptions and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities. Presentations included the reading a proclamation from the Athens County Commissioners, poetry readings by the Atco-Hocking College Creative Writers Collaborative, dance interpretation of the poetry by the Factory Street Dance Studio, self-advocacy awards by the Personnel Plus Advocacy and Advisory Council, highlights from the 2010 Personnel Plus Employee/Employer Banquet, a stellar performance by the Atco Bell Choir (directed by Ohio University Music Therapy students), a Life-Time Service Award presented to Arlene Sheak from the Athens City Commission on Disabilities, and a “Together” skit and march by individuals and staff from the ACBDD. This event also included exhibits from 28 agencies including day service and residential providers, health care providers, Commission on Disabilities, local libraries, ORSC, AmeriCorps, NAMI of Athens, OU College of Medicine Community Health Program, Social Security Administration, and self-advocacy groups. The high level of participation and collaboration of so many different entities truly epitomized the theme and demonstrated the atmosphere of “togetherness” that exists within Athens County.
Photographs by David Barba.