Disability Awareness Month is celebrated throughout Indiana in March.
In recognition of this 23rd annual observance, The Arc Northwest Indiana extends an invitation to community members to attend an open house at one of the four Arc centers - Gary, Crown Point, Highland and Hobart.
This year’s open houses will offer the opportunity to visit and discover the various program offerings available through The Arc, both the old ones that the public may be familiar with, and some newer ones that may be less familiar.
Each program will have its own booth and experts will be available to answer questions and share with guests what their particular program is all about.
The open house schedule begins from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the The Arc's East Center, 2395 West Old Ridge Road, Hobart.
Stop by from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. March 20 at the South Center, 550 E. Burrell Drive, Crown Point.
The spotlight shines on the North Center, 2660 W. 35th Ave., Gary, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 21.
Last, but not least, is the open house from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. March 27 at the West Center, 9600 Kennedy Ave., Highland.
Information regarding respite care, supported living, residential services, pre-vocational training, group habilitation, social integration programming, volunteer services, behavior management, self advocates, family support, Community Connections, recreation, job placement and supported employment follow along services, Medicaid waivers, master trusts, and Northwest Indiana Adult Guardianship Services will be available.
For more information call The Arc Northwest Indiana at (219) 884-1138 to speak with Sue Crisman, director of Public Relations, at ext. 6562 or Mike Mayden, Transition Services coordinator, at ext. 6368.
"Given that adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population, disability awareness is important for all of us," Crisman said. Led by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, the goal of Disability Awareness Month is to increase awareness and promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.
The 2013 campaign theme is “Community Connections,” and the artwork for this year’s celebration features a fully connected, livable community with appropriate housing, supportive and accessible community services, and physical and environmental features that allow everyone to live independently.
"If communities are to grow and prosper, people must develop Community Connections through access, civic engagement and by encouraging neighbors to support one another," Crisman said.