Living life ‘side by side’

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

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Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities and other related organizations celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, and invite you to consider the true meaning of this year’s theme, “Life Side by Side.”

Statewide, and across the nation, organizations devoted to serving individuals with developmental disabilities are planning special events in March to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability. “Life Side by Side” encourages people to get to know someone with a disability to better understand that we are all connected and alike in many ways.

“This is a time when our organization focuses on encouraging the public to better understand the individuals we serve,” said Deb Buccilla, superintendent of the Fayette County Board of DD. “During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we encourage people to learn more about the people in this community who have a developmental disability and to recognize that all of us have talents and strengths that we can offer to make this a better place to live.”

Fayette County Board of DD will kick off its recognition of March as DD Awareness Month with the Dwight Turner Memorial Spaghetti Dinner. This dinner will be held on Saturday, March 18 from 4-7 p.m. at the Fayette County Commission on Aging, 1179 S. Elm St., Washington Court House (please note new location). Dwight Turner was an avid advocate and follower of Special Olympics. He valued the programs and athletes involved, and volunteered his time to help raise awareness and funds for the programs associated with FCBDD. This year marks the sixth-annual Dwight Turner Memorial Spaghetti Dinner. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $5, at the door for $6, children 10 and under for $3. All proceeds remain local and benefit the Fayette County Special Olympics program and athletes.

Other activities planned include a 5-County Student Transition Expo hosted by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and the Region 14 Transition Council. This event is scheduled for Friday, March 17 at Good News Gathering, 6250 US 62 S Hillsboro. At this expo, the students and families will receive great tips on how to train and apply for a new career as well as meet local employers and education experts. Go to for more information.

The second in a series called S.A.L.T. (School to Adult Life Transition) will be held on Thursday, March 23, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Southern State Community College. This is a family information series dealing with various topics. This topic will deal with self-advocacy. The Employment First Local Leaders from Fayette, Highland, and Clinton counties are collaborating on this project to educate and address the concerns of parents who have students with disabilities as they transition from school to adult life. Anyone in the community is invited to attend this event. For more information or to RSVP (encouraged, but optional), please contact Betty Reisinger, Community First director at 740-335-7453.

The Early Childhood program housed at the Starting Gate on Leesburg Avenue in Washington C.H. have some different activities planned throughout the month of March, including a skating party on March 16. Preschool serves children ages 3-5 with half-day programming in four classrooms to serve more children. Early Intervention (EI), collaborates with Help Me Grow in all evaluations and assessments of children, birth to 3 years of age. EI offers home and center-based intervention for children who have at least one delay. For more information about these programs, call 740-335-1391.

A basketball game between the Fayette County Dragons Special Olympics team and area first responders from the police and fire departments is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at Washington High School. The cost of tickets will be $3 per person with concessions available throughout the evening. This is a chance to also watch the school-age team in action as they will be playing at 5:30. For more information, contact Tim Stewart, Community First coordinator, at 740-335-7453.

The sixth-annual Cerebral Palsy Co-Ed 6’s volleyball tournament and 5-K run/walk/roll is set for Saturday, April 1, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Washington High School gymnasium and track. The entry fee is $25 with all proceeds raised to help support a variety of local and other agencies with cerebral palsy advocacy, education and support. For more information and to register, contact John or Heather Buyer at

Another event, sponsored by Highco, Inc. in Hillsboro, is the third-annual Dash for DD. This is a 5K color run which will be held on Saturday, April 1 in Hillsboro. All proceeds from this event will go to support the programs and services of this non-profit organization based in Hillsboro that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. It offers services including, but not limited to, day habilitation, vocational training, job development, and job coaching. For more information about this event and to register, go to

Fayette County Board of DD offers quality programs and coordinates available services so that people we serve may realize their dreams and actively contribute to their community. These services include: service and support administration, residential and vocational supports, recreational and social activities, Special Olympics, family support services, self-advocacy, the Next Chapter Book Club, a Healthy Living group, Early Intervention, preschool, transportation, SAFE (Showing Acceptance for Everyone), PTO, and OT, PT and speech therapies.

During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March, get acquainted with someone who has a developmental disability. You’ll learn that everyone has a story and each story holds a promise to educate and inspire others as we learn, live, and work side by side in this great community. For more information, please call 740-335-7453, visit or www.facebook/fayettecountydd.
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

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