State Rep. Ryan Lauer, R-Columbus, visited with staff and clients at Developmental Services Inc. recently after the nonprofit agency invited the legislator to see its program operations.
DSI serves more than 250 adults with disabilities in Bartholomew County, and about 2,000 individuals in central and southern Indiana.
The former Bartholomew County Council president witnessed cooking and fitness classes, adult living skills activities and vocational skills programs for adults with disabilities. He also talked to individuals served by DSI about the importance of exercising their right to vote and participate in the community as citizens.
One of the services highlighted during the visit was DSI’s Education and Enrichment Program. Implemented three years ago, E & E offers a menu of daily service choices for DSI clients, including computer literacy, fine art, music, cooking, nutrition and fitness. All of the services are part of a curriculum designed to help adults with disabilities become more independent at home, job ready and involved in the community. E & E also helps individuals discover creative talents and new avenues of expression.
Clients spoke of personal ambitions for employment and living independently.
“You can see the pride in their faces,” Lauer said.
Lauer said he enjoyed the opportunity to listen to clients and hear about their challenges and successes.
“The work that DSI does for people with disabilities and their families is very important because their success means a better community for all of us,” Lauer said.