Edison State celebrates disability awareness through creativity


By Dawn Hatfield


DARKE COUNTY — Edison State Community College students, staff, faculty, and special guests found a creative way to honor all skill levels at the Student Senate’s Paint with a Pro disability awareness event this month. The free events invited participants to paint a lovely spring picture on a provided canvas under the instruction of a professional artist.

Capabilities joined the Edison family at the Piqua Campus on April 6 to paint a beautiful blooming branch. According to CapabilitiesInc.biz, “Capabilities, LLC connects the dots between the person and their future. As Ohio’s largest private provider of career rehabilitation, we provide flexible, personalized rehabilitation services for people with disabilities.” Capabilities was begun by a former special education teacher and her husband in 1997, and now staffs over 160 employees across 10 office locations. Capabilities offers comprehensive services, focus on supported community employment, optimistic corporate culture, and one-on-one customer service.

DarkeDD joined the fun at the Greenville Campus on April 13, painting a gorgeous cluster of tulips. Per DarkeDD.org, “Darke DD has been serving our community for more than 50 years. We were founded in 1967, when Ohio Senate Bill 169 established county boards to serve people with a developmental disability. Our mission is focused on empowerment and involvement. We work with individuals and families to bring those with developmental disabilities fully into our community.” DarkeDD staff work to empower people with developmental disabilities in exploring possibilities for their lives, maximizing independence, participating in the community, gaining employment, and realizing self-sufficiency in their daily life experiences.

Sidney High School ceramics teacher, Kelly Fair-Walker, led the two-hour painting classes, providing step-by-step instruction while also encouraging everyone to be unique and express themselves. “You can’t do it wrong,” Fair-Walker said. “Make the tulips any color you want… make one, three, five of them — however many you want in your picture!”

No two canvases looked alike but all were beautiful in their individuality. Participants had a great time; made new friends; tried a new skill; and shared pizza, snacks, and beverages together. Everyone was able to take home their own personal masterpiece to commemorate the happy event.

Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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