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Skylar Markley and Seth Mullen, two individuals with developmental disabilities, recently won the Individual Spotlight Award at the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month Luncheon in Coshocton County. The event featured awards, panel discussions, and readings of essay contest winners, with about 180 people in attendance. Superintendent Steve Oster explained that the award recognizes individuals who have overcome adversity to achieve their goals and make a positive impact in their lives and the lives of others. Markley, who previously faced personal hardships, has shown determination in living independently and pursuing employment opportunities.

Seth Mullen, the other award recipient, has worked at Peach Tree Poultry in Fresno for nine years, packaging over a million dozen eggs during that time. Mullen is known for his work ethic, attendance record, and advocacy for individuals with disabilities. The Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities also recognized other award winners at the luncheon, including Coshocton Regional Medical Center, which received the Employer Award for its inclusive work environment and opportunities for employees with developmental disabilities to grow and advance within the organization. Additionally, Maliya Williams, a high school senior, earned the Local Hero Award for organizing a homecoming dance for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Registered Nurse Karen Casey and the organization RHDD were honored with Dedication Awards for their commitment to providing quality healthcare services and employment support to individuals with disabilities in the community. Ridgewood Local Schools received the Community Partner Award for its support of the Board of DD, including accommodations for Special Olympics teams and students with disabilities to participate in track events. The school district’s efforts have helped promote inclusivity and awareness of developmental disabilities within the community.

Overall, the annual luncheon hosted by the Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities celebrates the achievements and contributions of individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as the organizations and community partners who support them. Through recognition of award winners like Markley, Mullen, and others, the event highlights the importance of creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities to thrive, achieve independence, and make meaningful impacts in their communities. The continued efforts of supportive employers, educators, healthcare professionals, and community organizations play a crucial role in promoting inclusion and empowerment for individuals with developmental disabilities.

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