(This column originally appeared in LNP | LancasterOnline on July 26, 2023.)
Today is National Disability Independence Day, commemorating the signing of the Americans with Disability Act into law in 1990. Once again, we are reminded of the value of each person and our responsibility to love and care for them. Not one person with a disability is a burden, but a blessing, especially when you see how God has brought them into your life.
My wife Paulette and I recently published a book, “Jessica’s Story — But God.” We share our life journey with our daughter Jessica, who was born with a severe developmental disability. That led us to the creation of the Jessica & Friends Community on Oct. 28, 1998. It helps other families find a safe, caring, faith-based environment for their loved ones with cognitive disabilities.
Jessica & Friends Community provides support and services to adults with autism and intellectual disabilities, and their families, in York and Adams counties. We provide services through two day programs, seven residential homes, three apartments, home and community respite care and supported employment — as well as a parent and caregiver support group and a retreat and respite center.
Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators ministry, once said, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.” Continue reading…