Ceres Mayor Chris Vierra recently issued a proclamation declaring June as Disability Awareness Month in Ceres. He said increasing public awareness about diverse abilities is vital to fighting the stigma and discrimination that “often serve as a barrier to employment, socialization and individual wellbeing.”
He said an estimated 4,050,631 people with disabilities in California and over 68,840 people over the age of five with disabilities in Stanislaus County. Also, within the next 12 months at least one out of eight Californians will experience a disability either personally or through a family member, said Mayor Vierra.
He said the disabled can be independent and productive through their abilities.
The city wants to celebrate and recognize people of different abilities as independent, productive and part of our community, said Vierra. His proclamation noted that “education, understanding, access, engagement and relationships” make for a community “where everyone participates and is a valued member.”
He urged all Ceres residents to become aware of the needs and capabilities of persons with disabilities.
The proclamation was accepted by Michelle Allen, director of the Society for Diabilities, currently celebrating its 72nd year.
June has been designated as Disability Awareness Month for the past eight years in Stanislaus County, said Allen. San Joaquin and Merced counties are also joining in.
“We’re really glad the Valley is really embracing disability awareness and we encourage everyone to check out our website, societyfordisabilities.org” said Allen.
The Society’s Facebook page contains some etiquette tips during interactions with persons of various disabilities.
The Society also operates the largest loan closet of adapted medical equipment within Northern California, loaning out walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes and hospital beds for those in need. The non-profit organization offers Sign Language classes, is a resource and referral agency for the community, and runs three thrift stores and provides job training skills.
For more information on the Society for Disabilities, visit societyfordisabilities.org or call 524-1205.