NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County Council has received statewide recognition as a county in South Carolina most supportive of people with disabilities in 2012. Fairfield County Council also received recognition.
The S.C. Commission on Disabilities and Special Needs presented the prestigious Golden Palmetto Award to Newberry County for its exemplary support to people with disabilities on Aug. 5 at the 46th annual Conference of the South Carolina Association of Counties.
“Newberry County has a long track record of commitment to people with disabilities,” Commission Chairman Fred Lynn said when presenting the award to Newberry County Council Chairman Henry H. “Buddy” Livingston III. “They richly deserve this honor.”
The S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is the state agency that provides services to people with severe, lifelong intellectual and related disabilities, autism, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and similar disability.
The Golden Palmetto Award has been presented annually since 1975 to the most deserving county in South Carolina. It is the agency’s way of thanking county governments for making the lives of people with disabilities a priority.
The Newberry County Council provides significant funding annually to keep vital services going for people with disabilities in the community.
“This is a tremendous commitment from a smaller county and their commitment did not waiver during the budget cut years,” said Lynn.
In addition to essential funding, Newberry supported transportation grants provided in-kind contributions. They actively support and attend community activities for disability consumers and family, and welcomed local self-advocates, The Voices of Pride, to make presentations at council meetings. Their presentation to council on “Banning the R Word” was particularly well received.
“Today we say ‘Intellectual Disability,’” said Lynn. “The R Word – retardation – is a word of the past.”
“Newberry County’s tremendous level of support is certainly commendable and clearly demonstrates their leadership and commitment to people with disabilities,” Lynn added. “It also exemplifies the successful partnerships between local disabilities agencies and their county councils all across our state.”