Briana Malaska

Developmental disability advocacy week

by Briana Malaska on March 13, 2017 at 6:54 pm

ZANESVILLE, Ohio- The Muskingum County Starlight Program is trying to raise awareness this week.

The week of March 13th-17th is being recognized as Developmental Disability Advocacy Week.

Sandy Drenten, Starlight Community Network Support Specialist, said some of their main goals for the week is to increase community involvement, create job opportunities and promote equality.

“We’re trying to let everyone know that our people have rights, everyone has rights, and we just want to make sure that they learn they can stand up for themselves,” said Drenten.

Drenten said they want to encourage the developmentally disabled to take control.

“In our old mental model in years past people were told what to do and now we wnat them to make the choices of what they want to do,” said Drenten.

Ron Pyle is an advocate representative for the program. His involvement is to help enlighten the community that they can stand up for themselves and make their own choices.

“It’s more or less getting people out and doing different things with them and making sure that everyone knows that we’re still part of the mainstream, regular life,” said Pyle.

The program will have different events throughout the week including workshops, serving a dinner to the Newton Township Fire Department as well as a meeting with Mayor Tilton.