You can't pin down the capabilities of a person with a developmental disability, says Gail Finnson.
"Asking what a person with a developmental disability can do is the same as asking what a person with blonde hair can do," said Finnson, the community employment supervisor with the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living. "There really isn't a limitation, because we're all different, and so are people with developmental disabilities. They can do a lot of different things just like you and I can."
Finnson was part of a group that organized a midday barbecue Thursday that helps celebrate the fact that October is Community Living Month. The festivities in front and inside the ACT saw between 800 and 1,000 people attend.
The event celebrated the contribution of people with developmental disabilities, Finnson said.
She added, "It helps the community recognize that they are contributing members."
Residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are working hard at being inclusive, according to Finnson.
Finnson knows this because she helps people with developmental disabilities find employment.
"I'm working in the community with businesses and some of them have been quite open to that, but. I'd like some more to be," she said.
Several businesses and organizations contributed to the Thursday, Oct. 18, event, including the school district, Community Living BC, parks and leisure services, Ridge Meadows Recycling, which employs dozens of people with varying abilities, and the local association for community living.
Stone Poets performed in the ACT foyer and Dilly the Clown mingled with the visitors.
Hotdogs were donated by Thrifty Foods, pop and chips came from Save-On-Foods, condiments were donated by Extra Foods, and cookies were baked and donated by Loon Lake Camp.