Back in 2017, the ANCOR Foundation launched a three-year national public awareness campaign, Included. Supported. Empowered. This multimedia effort put a spotlight on the everyday work of professionals who make it possible for people of ALL abilities to thrive as individuals and as active, valued, contributing members of our communities. Through storytelling, research, and advocacy, the campaign showcased the successes of people with IDD, how policies and programs make success possible, how philanthropy enhances these efforts, and how employers and communities provide vital partnerships and opportunities. The campaign recently concluded and the ANCOR Foundation released a report, “Stories of Impact and Inclusion: Celebrating Three Years of Included. Supported. Empowered.,” which provides a summary of the successes of the campaign and a call to action that the work must be continued.
As part of the campaign, the ANCOR Foundation partnered with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) to create The Case for Inclusion, which combines data with storytelling to promote change and action to support inclusive communities. The 2020 edition included state-by-state data on the depth of the direct support workforce crisis. It is no secret that there is a direct support professional (DSP) workforce crisis in our country. The workforce data from the 2020 Case for Inclusion shows that the average DSP turnover rate is 51%, which is staggering. Included in the extensive library, are stories and interviews with DSPs speaking about what being a DSP means to them. Videos like this bring awareness to this vital field of work and can change the hearts and minds of viewers.
MediSked was proud to be a benefactor sponsor of this groundbreaking initiative to amplify the voices and stories of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to ensure all individuals can live their best lives in the community. As we enter the ninth month of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to celebrate the vital role of these essential workers. We encourage you to visit the Included. Supported. Empowered. Initiative website to watch these impactful stories from the past three years. While the formal campaign is over, there is still much work to do. We hope you’ll continue to share stories to promote inclusion, empower individuals and providers, and educate people about the impact people with IDD have on our community.