Senator McDonald & Congressman Gibson Host Disabilities Awareness Day at the Wilton Mall

Roy J. McDonald

December 12, 2011

Saratoga Springs, NY — In an effort to highlight groups and organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities and their families, Senator Roy McDonald and Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-20) were joined by Assemblyman Tony Jordan, Wilton Supervisor Art Johnson and Saratoga Springs Supervisor Matthew Veitch for Disabilities Awareness Day at the Wilton Mall on Saturday December 10th.

Serving as Chairman of the New York State Senate’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, McDonald approached Congressman Gibson to host an event that would allow organizations throughout Saratoga County and the Capital Region to showcase the services they provide to individuals persevering with disabilities. More than 40 organizations and local not-for-profits attended Disabilities Awareness Day at the Wilton Mall.

"It's important that we diligently work to help those with disabilities and the family structures that support them. I appreciate Senator McDonald for his excellent work on these issues and for putting together this Awareness Day. I'm honored to join these groups and learn more about the important services they provide to so many people in the 20th Congressional District. I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future to help support our local communities and my constituents," said Congressman Gibson.

“I’m honored that Congressman Gibson is such an active member of our community and was willing to participate in this event to spread awareness about disability services in our region. I’ve hosted public forums across the state for these issues and it’s clear that the organizations who provide assistance to families is one of the most important part of the equation,” said McDonald.

In his first year as the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Chairman, McDonald carefully guided the autism insurance legislation through each chamber of the legislature and saw the Governor sign the bill into law. The new law will guarantee insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism. Legislative items such as this originated through conversations at past events. Disabilities Awareness Day served as a new opportunity to learn ways to improve services.

“We’re always learning from the public about new ways to provide better services and make sure that as elected leaders we accomplish what’s best for the public,” said McDonald.

Assemblyman Tony Jordan echoed those sentiments.

“Throughout my district I’m concerned about rural communities and the ability for disabilities services to be distributed to individuals who can benefit from them most. I’m always looking for creative ways to make certain that everyone is given fair access to important medical treatment and services. I’m proud to be here today to spread awareness and applaud these wonderful organizations,” said Assemblyman Jordan.

McDonald said he turned to the Wilton Mall as a partner in this event because of their active role in providing a great outlet for community awareness events.

“We are privileged that Senator McDonald has allowed Wilton Mall to take part in this worthwhile event,” said Wilton Mall Property Manager Noah Appley. “To connect these outstanding organizations with our Holiday Shoppers is an inspirational idea that epitomizes the spirit of the season.”

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is a key partner in working with not-for-profit organizations and delivering services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

“I’m honored to participate in this event which will spread awareness about the services that are available in Saratoga County. Congressman Gibson, Senator McDonald and Assemblyman Jordan have been very active in making sure Wilton’s commitment to community awareness and educational opportunity is valued not only in Wilton but in business and on a national level,” said Town of Wilton Supervisor Art Johnson.

“As a father with two children with Autism, my family has used the services of some of the organizations represented today at the event.  I applaud our Congressman and Senator in increasing awareness to the public of the organizations that are out there to help families that are directly affected by the issues surrounding children who have special needs,” said Supervisor Matthew Veitch.

 “ASPIRe N.Y., inc. is thrilled to have been invited to participate in today’s event.  It is a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness about our organization and the people we serve.  Our thanks go out to Senator McDonald and Congressman Gibson for hosting this event” said Executive Director & CFO Julie Marks.