Mainstay celebrates DDAM 2023

By Kim Sonafelt,
Chief Executive Officer

Thank You, Direct Support Professionals Sign
March is an important time for the Mainstay Life Services community … it is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM)!

Throughout the year, awareness months provide us with opportunities to reflect on the contributions to our society from typically underrepresented individuals and groups. In response, movements have emerged and picked up momentum to reshape conversations around sensitive subjects.

At times, it can be hard to keep track of every single holiday and recognition day or month, and the Mainstay team strives to be more mindful each year of these important opportunities to spark conversations and contribute to meaningful change. Even in 2023, there continues to be biases towards people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The goal at Mainstay is to Enrich Lives and Unlock Potential for people 365-days a year. We strive to do this by reducing barriers between the people we work for and the communities in which they live, work, and play. We are all neighbors, friends, workers, and advocates. We all are important to the fabric of our communities.

As we do all year, this month we are highlighting the abilities of people we work for. Recently, Mainstay hired its first Peer Advocate Lindsay Kondis, who has joined the Quality and Performance Improvement team.

“I am happy that I have found a job,” commented Lindsay. “And I’m excited to help others to advocate for themselves. I’m also happy to be earning a paycheck!”

Not only is Lindsay now working for Mainstay as a peer advocate, we have people we work for participating in a fitness program through Eruption Athletics, and next month we will resume art classes with local artist and Mainstay friend Binu Advani.

Willette Walker

Lindsay Kondis, Peer Advocate

The art classes are a phenomenal opportunity for self-expression and exploration through various mediums – including mixed media, collage, watercolor, and oil paints. Keep an eye out for pieces from pre-pandemic classes in March and new artwork later in the year!

Please help us celebrate people with developmental disabilities as vital members of our communities this month – and always.

In friendship,

Kim Sonafelt