Community rallied to the cause

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To the Editor:

Thank you to the more than 50 community members from across the Island who joined the Island Disability Coalition (IDC) on Oct. 10 to imagine and explore disability inclusion on Martha’s Vineyard.This was the kickoff event for the IDC, and we were thrilled to connect with educators, employers, members of the spiritual community, recreation and leisure providers, families, advocates, and self-advocates.

The vision of the IDC is an Island community that truly includes and supports individuals with disabilities across the lifespan. To make this vision a reality, we as a community must work together to ensure opportunities exist in employment, housing, education, youth sports and camps, and all of the activities that give our life value. Thank you to the Barn, Bowl and Bistro for hosting, and to Tilton Rentals for donating supplies. Thank you to our panelists, Kat King of Kids Included Together, Tony Antosh of the Sherlock Center on Disability at Rhode Island College, and Tom Sannicandro of the Institute on Community Inclusion of UMass Boston, for demonstrating how communities can work toward inclusion of people with disabilities.

The IDC is sponsoring an Island-wide disability needs assessment that will be available in coming weeks. Please visit our website, idcmvy.org, or contact IDC coordinator Beth Wike to learn more about the assessment and join the conversation.

 

Beth Wike

Vineyard Haven