Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers with the Lewis County Autism Coalition for a successful Inclusion Luncheon. It was an honor to speak with so many community advocates about Cultivating Inclusion.
I appreciated the panel of speakers, including my friend and Police Chief Carl Nielsen with the Centralia, WA Police Department; Michael Morgan with Grocery Outlet (Chehalis, WA); Kathryn Rotter with Chehalis School District, and many others.
The mission of the Lewis County Autism Coalition is to be a catalyst for community action and partnerships that support families and advance success in school, work and life for people on the autism spectrum.
“Inclusion is the cure for so many ills in our community,” said Peter Abbarno. “Whether we speak of poverty and the marginalized. Education and the deprived. Or maybe physical and developmental disabilities and the forgotten. Inclusion – The Idea of Inclusion – The right to inclusion – is a solution.”
I am committed to inclusion in our community. Personally I Ran 20 miles with a torch in my hand and jumped into 28 degree water to raise money and awareness to the Lewis County Special Olympics. Professionally, I have volunteered and delivered free legal service to those in need. As a public servant, I advocate for ADA sidewalks and truly inclusive handicap accessible playgrounds.
“At this first annual Inclusion Luncheon, we have the monumental opportunity to give real meaning to inclusion by cultivating it in our organization, workplace, neighborhood, and home. And this movement begins today and begins right now. There is no better time than right here and right now to give meaning to inclusion.”
There are many organizations working with the Lewis County Autism Coalition on inclusion initiatives, including the United Way of Lewis County, People First, Love INC, SPARC, Reliable Enterprises, Special Olympics of Lewis County as well as City and County agencies. It is never too late to join, donate, and become an Ambassador for Inclusion at work, school, or in your home!
To learn more about the Lewis County Autism Coalition, visit LCAutism.org.