Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Campaign theme: Disabled belong

Butler board to start 3-month effort

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The Butler County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) is embarking on a three-month campaign to make the public more aware of the needs of the adults and children they serve.

        The theme of the campaign is “Every Face in Our Community Belongs.”

        “People with disabilities are not just supposed to be at places, but they're supposed to be a part of things, too,” said Pam Long, the MRDD's spokeswoman.

        The campaign, which will run from March through May, will feature:

        • MRDD's Eighth Annual Community Recognition Dinner on March 10 at the Cincinnati Marriott North in West Chester Township. The agency will honor a family with the Lifetime Achievement Award, two people with the Jeff and Debbie Crouse Award and one person with developmental disabilities with the Lloyd Harris Community Award.

        • The Art Thing, an exhibit of art created by people with developmental disabilities. The exhibit will be held on March 22 at the Middletown Fine Arts Center.

        • A justice symposium on April 29 to inform law enforcement officials how to handle cases involving the mentally retarded.

        The agency will be providing intensive in-home support to 40 more people this year.

        By converting state and locallyfunded services into Medicaid waivers that draws federal matching money, the agency can expand those services from 193 to 239 people, said Dr. Fred Valerius, agency superintendent.

        The 40 additional people who get these services have been on a waiting list. Some are living with elderly care-givers and need intense support, Dr. Valerius said.


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