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Local Groups Raise Awareness for People with Disabilities

Several events around the Summit City bring awareness to people living with mental and physical disabilities.

On a national level, March is recognized as Disability Awareness Month. Here locally, there were a number of events this weekend highlighting the many talents of people with disabilities. From basketball to performing arts, this day is all about giving those with disabilities a chance to shine.

Jesters has 70 performers. It’s a group of people with developmental disabilities. Each year the program is hosted at the University of Saint Francis. Allison Ballard is Director of the group.

"They just come because they love the work. They want to dance and make music and sing and be creative with each other," she said.

Across town at Woodside Middle School, the Special Olympics hosts their second basketball game with more than 100 players from five surrounding counties. Allen County Special Olympics Coordinator, Donna Hazelett says this event is the only in the state.

"A lot of our special Olympics athletes may have never been to a basketball camp before so our whole idea was to get them to come and they do drills, learn the strategy and then they play games at the end," said Hazelett.

Also, star Lauren Potter from Fox’s hit show Glee visited the Summit City and stopped by our studio. She has become an advocate for people with special needs.

She travels around the country with Abilities Abound, a group that celebrates the accomplishments of people with special needs.

"I think it’s important for them to know they’re beautiful and special inside and out," said Potter.

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