March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to highlight some of our advocates, who’ve helped spread awareness and advocated for inclusion and equity for their loved ones with developmental disabilities.
Each week this month we’ll be highlighting a different Penn-Mar Advocacy Collective (PMAC) steering committee member, and why they choose to advocate.
To learn more about PMAC, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharing Her Story . . .
My name is Claudia Summerson. My husband and I live in York, Pa. We have 2 children (Abbie, Doug) and 2 granddaughters. Our daughter Abbie (35) was diagnosed with Autism/IDD at the age of 4. She attended special education classes in the public school system. When Abbie was 23 she moved into a Penn-Mar home with 2 other ladies. She now lives in her own apartment. Abbie is happy and living an inclusive life in the community with the help of her dedicated staff. She enjoys magazines, papers, going out to eat, and visiting family and friends.
Without Penn-Mar and the DSPs Abbie would not have an active life and the opportunity to live as independently as possible. Knowing someday we will no longer be here, we have the comfort of knowing she will be taken care of.
I accepted a volunteer position on the PMAC Collective Steering Committee to advocate for change that affects our family members with IDD/Autism now and in the future. At this time, we need to focus on bringing awareness on how important and essential our DSPs are to the everyday lives of our individuals (keeping them safe/healthy) and why they deserve higher wages.
I would encourage other families to get involved with PMAC because together we can have a bigger voice to make changes happen. I look forward to talking and getting to know everyone. As we join hands we can continue to make a difference today and in the future for our children and Penn-Mar.