On February 26, 1987, President Ronald Reagan officially declared Proclamation 5613 making March National Disabilities Awareness Month

Proclamation 5613 called for understanding, instilling confidence, and opportunities to help those with disabilities to live productive and fulfilling lives.

I think inclusiveness benefits individuals with disabilities as well as the rest of our society.

A functioning organism as a society ensures all people have a healthy existence.

I worked as a provider for the Franklin County department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) until Franklin County MRDD switched to a company called Boundless in 2016. I worked with Boundless until 2020.

A provider goes into the homes of the developmentally disabled. A provider works with social, and life skills from a recommended individual service plan. A provider drives a person with Autism or Down syndrome to work, school, recreation centers, the grocery, and other places where a individual might visit.

I found that much like any vocation working with developmentally disabled people helps you pick up things you didn’t know, and comprehend different point of views.

The client I was involved with lost their funding in 2020. I still communicate with Boundless. I update trainings, renew my FBI/BCCI screenings, and talk with human resources. I occasionally work with clients.

I was sent an email from Boundless regarding a Dare to Be Boundless Shirt that HOMAGE had designed for Disability Awareness Month. HOMAGE is a Columbus based clothing company which “specializes in ultra-comfy, high quality looks repping sports, pop culture and more legendary moments.”

Twenty Percent of HOMAGE’s “Dare to Boundless” shirt’s proceeds will go to Boundless.

I sent Homage an email. Homage’s Marketing Manager, Mark Jaworski responded to my questions.

Why did Homage choose Boundless as an organization to design a shirt?

Boundless actually reached out to HOMAGE to see if we'd be interested in collaborating with them on a shirt design that would benefit their organization. They had seen our previous partnership with DSACO — Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio — and thought they would be a good fit for our HOMAGE Works collection. We are very receptive to these kinds of partnerships and so it was an easy decision for us to put something together with the Boundless team. 

Please describe why someone should “Dare To Be Boundless” as the shirt implies?

Dare to be boundless is a challenge. For those with developmental disabilities, daring to be boundless means doing the kinds of things that society might've thought impossible. But daring to be boundless is also a challenge to those who don't have developmental disabilities. We want folks who might not be a part of the developmentally disabled community to challenge their ideas of what individuals within that community are capable of. I bet they'd be surprised at what's possible.

Does inclusiveness benefit humans with developmental disabilities?

Absolutely. Being boundless isn't just about individuals who have developmental disabilities reaching their potential. It's about family members and employers and clubs and schools — entire communities — challenging themselves to think about inclusivity in new ways. How can we lift each other up? How can those with developmental disabilities lift their communities up? We believe that any community is only as strong as its most fragile members and so we know that the health and well-being of our communities depends on empowering everybody within, including individuals who traditionally might be overlooked, like those with developmental disabilities. If folks with developmental disabilities reach their potential, it is not only empowering for those individuals, but it's also uplifting for their communities, as well. When we are compassionate about those with differences, we'll come to realize that we aren't that much different after all and that our shared successes are critical for the wellbeing of everyone.

Developmental disabilities inclusiveness in society benefits humans without disabilities.