25th annual Development Disabilities Awareness Day is this Thursdayby jmaloni
The silver anniversary Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day conference is Thursday, May 23. It will feature Western New York professionals and businesses that specialize in services for people with developmental disabilities. The full-day event will be held at The Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St.
The convention runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Professionals from many different area agencies who specialize in services for people with developmental disabilities and similar health-related industries will be on hand to provide guidance, literature and general information about services that their organizations or businesses provide. In all, 21 one-hour workshops are planned.
The convention, also commonly known as DDDAY!!, has long been a staple of the local developmentally disabled community, bringing together local and regional agencies, industry-connected vendors and suppliers, direct support professionals and the individuals these groups support. The conference is the largest one of its kind in the U.S., and has been growing bigger and more sophisticated.
Each year, awards are presented to professionals, organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities. This year's award winners are:
- Lifetime Achievement: Joe Mineo, Niagara Cerebral Palsy, and Robert Pieters, Heritage Christian Services
- Personal Achievement: Amoad Hanna, Lifetime Assistance Inc.
- Service Provider of the Year: Paula Kerber, Aspire of WNY
- Community Service of the Year: Glory Be To Kids
- Caregiver of the Year: Marie-Therese Frieri, Opportunities Unlimited
The awards luncheon will again be emceed by the "Voice of the Bills," radio personality John Murphy.
Rounding out the day's attractions and festivities will be an art show featuring artwork from local artists with disabilities and live entertainment.
Walk-in tickets for the event will be available at the door for $15. More information is available at www.ddday.org.