Treating people with disabilities with dignity: Saratogian staffers recognized by NYSARC
NYSARC describes itself as "a family-based organization working with and for people who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities."
That is a wordy but more accurate description of an organization that, when established in 1949, was commonly known at the Association for Retarded Children, and then retarded citizens. They have successfully purged "mentally retarded" from their lingo because of its negative and inaccurate connotations. And they are fighting a winning battle to raise community consciousness about how to thoughtfully and accurately refer to people with disabilities.
An abbreviated version of NYSARC's mission is "to improve the quality of life for people who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families in every manner possible, including but not limited to: education, training, rehabilitation, family support, recreation and guardianship."
The statewide organization has annual media awards to recognize photographers and print and broadcast stories that further the goal of "awareness through communication."
County branches of the organization submit local work for the judging. The winners are invited to an awards luncheon that is part of NYSARC's annual convention. I'll be joining Erica and Suzanna. Their work, as well as many others submitted statewide, are examples of how the media can and should inform the public and while treating people with disabilities with dignity.