Ellisville Mayor Tim Waldrup welcomed people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to City Hall on March 8 where he signed a proclamation declaring March as “Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Awareness Month” in the City of Ellisville.
Waldrup, who is retiring this year after serving 16 years as Ellisville’s mayor, said he has signed proclamations recognizing citizens with intellectual/developmental disabilities ever since he’s been in office. “Although this is my last year in office, I will continue to be supportive,” he said. “They are an integral part of the city, and consequently, they participate in many areas of the city.
“Not only do they live here, but we have some who work here, shop here, and eat here,” added the mayor. “We are so thankful they are a part of Ellisville.”
In the proclamation, Waldrup encouraged all citizens to support opportunities for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the city that include full access to education, housing, employment and recreational activities. The proclamation also stated that people with intellectual/developmental disabilities deserve total support, recognition and acceptance of all citizens of the City of Ellisville.
Ellisville is among the many cities, organizations, and agencies across the state and country that observe national Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with the goal of bringing awareness to the needs of people with developmental disabilities. Today, the observance includes those with intellectual disabilities. Also, in addition to bringing awareness, IDD Awareness Month is used to help others understand the challenges often faced by Americans living with an intellectual or developmental disability who strive to be fully included in society. In recent years those with intellectual disabilities have also been included in the awareness campaign. Each year activities and events are held during the month of March to promote awareness of people with disabilities and focus on their accomplishments and abilities as they contribute to their communities.
According to the proclamation, the most effective way to increase awareness is through everyone’s active participation in community activities and the openness to learn and acknowledge each person’s contribution.