WINNSBORO — March has been proclaimed Disability Awareness Month in Fairfield County thanks to the efforts of the Fairfield County Disabilities and Special Needs Board and to Mary Lynn Kinley, MaryGail Douglas and Creighton Coleman.
Those three signed a proclamation to that effect on March 7. The proclamation was one of several activities FCDSN is doing in March. Earlier in the week, four clients as well as FCDSN staff made a trip last week to the state house for Disability Awareness Day.
“It was special because the meet and greet meant a lot to our consumers to get to shake hands and take photographs with (Governor Haley),” said Laura Collins, director of Fairfield County Disabilities and Special Needs.
On March 20 the consumers, or clients at FCDSN, will have an activity day. At some point this month they will have a balloon launch as well.
These activities are made all the brighter by the new facilities the organization now has.
“We are glad to be in our new facility,” Collins said. “It has been a ten year process for us.”
The county donated what was old sheriff’s department office space and a jail and then grant funding helped with demolition and construction costs for the new facility. The county issued a challenge grant of $125,000 that was matched through private donations and fundraisers.
The FCDSN has a mortgage on the new building so they are holding a capital campaign. People can buy bricks for $75 in honor or in memory of someone. There are room naming opportunities as well for both individuals and for corporate sponsors.
For more information about how to contribute, people can call Laura Collins at 635-2154.
Statewide as of June 2012, 1,103 individuals with disabilities were living at home with an aging caregiver age 72 or older; 3,340 individuals were waiting for the Intellectual Disability/Related Disability Waiver; 1,288 individuals were awaiting day supports and more than 393 individuals were waiting for the Head and Spinal Cord Waiver, which provides essential services so people with traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury can live at home.
Those needed services and programs are part of the impetus behind the awareness day and month, as is an appreciation for the men and women who work at group homes and other entities that serve this population.