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In 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation that the month of March should be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. Over 6 million individuals in the United States have developmental disabilities. Examples of developmental disabilities include Autism, behavior disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability, and spina bifida. People with developmental disabilities benefit from comprehensive long-term services, like the services offered at Koinonia.

How Koinonia is celebrating Developmental Disabilities Month 2020:

March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month. Here at Koinonia, we are thinking: How can we both advocate for our individuals and offer them an avenue to participate in self-advocacy? After some troubleshooting, the development of an advocacy mural fits!

The first demo of the mural was completed this Tuesday (March 17) at KE 1200 by Stephen Dargaj, KE 1200 Program Manager and Matt Barr, Community Navigator. The steps they will take to complete the mural were sampled on a smaller scale 4.5 ft X 5 ft. They secured the paper onto the wall, projected the image onto the paper with a projector, traced the image and lettering with a pencil.

They then blocked out the lettering and imagery with paper to apply the hand prints. Lettering was filled in after the prints were done. The image turned out exactly as planned. It was a successful trial run! The actual mural will be inclusive, allowing for each individual interested to make a contribution to the piece – getting their hands messy and adding their hand print! Things to think about before moving onto the actual mural: Font choice, additional hashtags, dimensions of the actual murals, paint and preparation. Feel free to post recommendations, the feedback is appreciated (especially on the message itself)!

 We want to thank both Matt and Stephen for all their hard work in creating this project! The demo turned out amazing and we look forward to rolling out this project with our individuals! #KHiLove