Wisconsin BPDD Awards Original Story Winner

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Organization is Awarding Prizes to Those Touched by Disability

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I think many people in our communities still see what people can’t do; see their deficits. But it takes getting to know people with disabilities on a personal level to really understand their strengths.

The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), http://www.wi-bpdd.org, announced today the latest winner in its storytelling campaign, Better Together: Sharing stories, Sharing lives. The campaign celebrates the many ways ordinary people come together to support one another across their personal and professional lives. Its latest winner, Angie Dupke of Wausau, WI, is recognized this month and will receive a Kindle Fire for her original story.

“I’ve worked in health care for years and there have been many people I’ve met that have taught me about the valuable roles people with disabilities play in our communities, our families and our lives,” said Angie. “I think many people in our communities still see what people can’t do; see their deficits. But it takes getting to know people with disabilities on a personal level to really understand their strengths.”

In her story submission, Angie shares an account of a client faced with numerous physical, emotional and learning challenges. At times, his challenges seemed almost insurmountable. But over the course of their time together, Angie witnessed a complete turnaround in her client turned friend. Using his challenges to his advantage, today he models the kind of personal success others in similar positions aspire to. “He’s taught me as a parent, a wife, and a person the kinds of values I want to instill in my children and in my own life,” noted Angie. “He reminds me to help people understand - especially my children - that despite our differences, everyone deserves love and respect.”

The BPDD is looking for its next winning story. Anyone can participate. People living with a developmental disability - or who have a family member, friend, coworker or employee with a developmental disability - can visit http://www.bettertogether.wi-bpdd.org or the BPDD’s Facebook page to share their story and learn more. Storytellers have until September 30 to submit a story for the next prize drawing.

One storyteller a month will receive a prize for a story about a life touched by disability. Prizes include Kindle Fires, $100 gift cards and more. Stories can be submitted through the BPDD's Facebook page or the Better Together website. Stories should be short personal accounts of about a page or less relating their experience of a life touched by disability.

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, Better Together: Sharing stories, Sharing lives is a cooperative, multimedia initiative launched to increase awareness of the many ways people with disabilities can – and do – contribute to our greater communities. Throughout 2013, Better Together will use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media to spotlight the importance of including people of all abilities in our communities by collecting and sharing stories from those whose lives have been touched by disability. One in six children in the U.S. grows up with a developmental disability¹. Better Together seeks to highlight the many ways people with disabilities contribute to our communities and our lives.

¹CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/developmentaldisabilities/index.html

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