Joe Mallon is a custodian at Butler Creek Elementary School--a job he’s held for 20 years. He loves his job. He says it gives him a reliable wage and connects him with volunteer opportunities.
“It’s a good job to get in to because you’ve got good security, and it helps me get involved with the community,” he said.
Mallon receives support from the County’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services Division (IDDSD) to be successful in his job and in his family home. He and another participant, Luam Yohannes, shared their stories Thursday, March 7 as the Board of County Commissioners declared March “Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.”
The Division serves more than 6,000 residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities diagnoses prior to the age of 22. The program’s goal is to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities by promoting independence, safety and health. All services are participant-driven and focus on supporting participants to make informed decisions based on their goals.
“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are valued members of our community who make significant contributions to society,” said Dawn-Alisa Sadler, the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities program manager. “Multnomah County and its partners are privileged to provide services that support a person-centered approach to ensuring quality of life and equitable opportunities to thrive for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Thursday’s proclamation also included special recognition for the County’s High School Transition Team, which brings case managers into local schools to help 770 participants aged 15 to 21 plan for continued education and future job opportunities.
“IDD serves many people throughout their entire life and this includes the important transition time between youth services and adult services,” Chair Deborah Kafoury said. “Multnomah County’s program recognizes the value of this specialized team and is committed to supporting their ongoing efforts.”
Yohannes, a participant of the transition team, currently has an internship. Someday she hopes to have a full-time job. As the Board of County Commissioners voted to approve the proclamation, she had a simple message for them: “Thank you for supporting me,” she said. “Thank you for being by my side.”
Save the date: 2019 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Info Fair
All are invited to this year’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Information Fair on May 29 at the Oregon Department of Human Services East office, 11826 NE Glisan in Portland, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 pm.
Dozens of community programs will highlight a wide range of services and opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. There will be games, food, refreshments and giveaways at the resource tables. The event is family friendly.
Sign up to get email alerts on the IDD Info Fair webpage.