Sound Off — March 8

DD Awareness
In honor of Developmental Disabilities (DD) Awareness Month, we at REM Ohio Inc. would like to take this opportunity to encourage all Ohioans to learn more about individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Our state-wide campaign for this year’s celebration and community outreach is — “Our Community is Better Together.” This theme encourages the public to understand that when people with disabilities are welcomed into local neighborhoods, workplaces, houses of worship, and schools everyone wins. One of REM Ohio’s goals is to reduce the stigma of a disability and replace it with an understanding of abilities.
Several local direct support professionals of REM Ohio as well as individuals with DD will participate in the Developmental Disability Awareness Month Kick-off Event held at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on March 1.  We are encouraging everyone to join us at this event and support the efforts to enhance the public’s knowledge and awareness about developmental disabilities.   
DD Awareness Month not only offers an opportunity for increasing education, awareness, and community inclusion but paves the way toward improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.  Several awareness and outreach efforts will be hosted and community involvement is encouraged throughout the year.   It is, after all, often a lack of knowledge and attitudinal barriers that often results in isolation of citizens and disconnection of a community.
Our hope is through education and support by our own friends and neighbors many fears and false public assumptions can be replaced with awareness, understanding, and greater inclusion. Readers that are interested in bringing awareness and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities into their community can visit for more information.
Mary K Ziccardi, Regional Director
REM Ohio Inc.

Dear editor,
This is in response to the article written in “Sound Off,” in the March 1 publication. I’m referring to the Traffic Plea sent in by Bill Miller of Catawba Island. I am a year-round Catawba Island resident and drive through the 163 and 53 intersection at least twice daily and sometimes more. I am in complete agreement with Miller’s article and totally support his recommendation. I have witnessed numerous “near” accidents as well as actual accidents at the exact location to which Miller refers.
I realize people are trying to be courteous in allowing drivers from both directions to be able to access McDonald’s, but many times it causes more harm than good.  I agree with him that the entrance and exit to McDonald’s should be off of 163.  I would take it a step further and make the same recommendation for the Holiday Inn. I would also hope that the owner of the McDonald’s would support this recommendation.
I thank you for your time and I always enjoy reading The Beacon every week, you and your staff do a great job!!
Julia Sims

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