R 167
2017 -- S 0694
Enacted 03/30/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators P Fogarty, Ruggerio, Metts, Satchell, and Miller
Date Introduced: March 30, 2017

     WHEREAS, The month of March, 2017, marks the 30th Anniversary of National
Disabilities Awareness Month (NDAM). National Disabilities Awareness Month is a special time
when we recognize the contributions of people with disabilities in their communities as well as
those programs and support systems that make such contributions not only possible, but also a
seamlessly integral part of society; and
     WHEREAS, Proclaimed by President Reagan in 1987, the occasion of National
Disabilities Awareness month's inception was a banner year not only for the nation, but also for
the State of Rhode Island; and
     WHEREAS, Decades ago, the late United States Representative John Fogarty inspired
citizens to come together to change attitudes that would provide the impetus to support significant
legislative action in order to achieve his vision of improving the health and well-being of those
with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and
     WHEREAS, Congressman Fogarty was fond of saying, "I have seen that clear, united
citizen action surrounding any problem impresses the councils of the capital city. In our
democratic way of life, there is no force greater than the concerted and collective voice of our
citizens"; and
     WHEREAS, Today, more than a quarter century after Congressman Fogarty uttered those
famous words, a new generation of support systems has come to fruition, providing opportunities
such as shared living arrangements, transitional school services, community-based day services,
and programs to provide career planning, job coaching, and supported employment for people
with developmental and intellectual disabilities; and
     WHEREAS, As the living embodiment of this vision, the Rhode Island Senate hosted the
John E. Fogarty Foundation for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities forum focusing upon the
current issues facing people with developmental disabilities living in Rhode Island; and
     WHEREAS, The Fogarty Center's philosophy is that people with developmental
disabilities be active, productive members of the community and, as such, are entitled to the same
rights, privileges, responsibilities and choices as all citizens; and
     WHEREAS, Accordingly, the mission of the Fogarty Center is to offer exploration,
encouragement and positive guidance concerning individual interests, aptitude and talents, based
on personal preferences. Ultimately, Fogarty Center clients achieve self-determination and
personal growth; and
     WHEREAS, The many members of the developmentally disabled community in
attendance at the forum attests to the fact that through their determination and the assistance of
dedicated direct support professionals, Congressman Fogarty's vision can be achieved; now,
therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby wishes to recognize and celebrate "National Disabilities Awareness Month" in the State of
Rhode Island. In doing so, we recognize the remarkable achievements, efforts and advances made
by these men and women each and every day; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Mary Fogarty McAndrew, Chairperson of the
Fogarty Foundation.