SHERIDAN — Several Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming clients had something to say about what it means to have a disability at Monday’s proclamation of March as disABILITIES Awareness Month. Gathered inside city hall, each client held a sign he or she had written:
• I want to be me
• I am very smart
• I love cookies
• Look at ME, not my disability
In a video produced by RENEW, which can be viewed at www.renew-wyo.com, more clients chimed in with handwritten signs of their own: “I am good at impersonations,” “I work at the Sheridan Courthouse,” “Some say it is a hopeless end, but I have endless hope.”
Each sign represented one person in Sheridan who wants people to see them and see their worth, not their disability.
“This gives us the opportunity to get the word out and make people really think about it,” said Chris Ahlstrom, CEO of RENEW, about the proclamation. “Everybody out there can enhance their abilities, and that’s what an organization like ours is all about.”
In his proclamation, Mayor Dave Kinskey urged Sheridan residents to recognize and celebrate people with disabilities through several special events in March and throughout the year.
“I think it’s important that we understand that God made us all as individual and unique, and that we need to celebrate folks for their differences,” Kinskey said. “I think it’s important that they have every opportunity to be contributing citizens which helps build their pride and their sense of belonging and helps us understand the great gifts they can bring to us, as well.”
Events to commemorate disABILITIES Awareness Month include: Spread the Word to the Stop the Word on Wednesday; World Down Syndrome Day March 21; and a Walk for disABILITY Awareness at 9:15 a.m. March 30 at the Sheridan Junior High track. For more information on these events, visit www.renew-wyo.com or call 672-7481.