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Developmental Disabilities Council launches statewide inclusion survey

Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed October as National Disability Employment Awareness month. On Thursday, the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (the Council), Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) and other community members gathered to commemorate this important month.

During the event, the Council announced the launch of a statewide disability inclusion survey for all Arkansas-based employers. Employers across the state are encouraged to complete the survey, which will be open now through Sunday, Oct. 31.

“As an entity dedicated to empowering Arkansans with DD, we are committed to increasing awareness of the value of inclusive and equitable employment practices,” said Jon Taylor, executive director of the Council. “This survey will provide us with vital insights in order to create the best resources to improve Arkansas’s equitable workforce. We encourage all employers to take the initiative: participate in our survey and help build a better future for all Arkansans.”

Every October, the Council and ARS celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month as a time to increase awareness of the need for Arkansas-based employers to employ more inclusively and the plethora of resources available. This year’s celebration was held at Arkansas State University System’s office in Little Rock, and event attendees included Taylor; Joseph Baxter, Commissioner of ARS; the Council members; ARS members and community members.

“We are thrilled to announce that October is Disability Employment Awareness Month in an initiative to better support our workforce through inclusive and equitable employment practices,” said Baxter. “We want to thank Gov. Hutchinson for supporting our mission to provide resources and support for Arkansans with developmental disabilities and the Council for their dedication to promoting inclusive, integrated employment for all individuals across the state.”

The Council works to improve the independence and productivity of Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (DD) and to ensure their integration and inclusion into communities across the state. The disability inclusion survey will be available online for employers to complete through Oct. 31, 2021, at bit.ly/GCDDEmployer Survey.

Ceremonial Swearing-In

District Judge Lance Wright ceremonially swears in Cleburne County Judge Karl Martin on the morning of Oct. 1. Martin, 61, of Ida, will serve as county judge until Dec. 31, 2022, serving out the rest of the term of recently retired judge Jerry Holmes.

Arkansas IMCA stock car racing veteran Edwin Wells has entered four cars in the World IMCA Stock Car Championships beginning next Wednesday at Batesville Motor Speedway.

Mountain View man dies in collision on Hwy. 5

A Mountain View resident died following an accident on Hwy. 5 in rural Cleburne County Sunday afternoon.

According to the Arkansas State Police fatal crash summary report, Douglas W. Storey, 61, of Mountain View was southbound on a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle, when he crossed the centerline striking a 2017 Buick traveling northbound. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were reported as clear and road conditions were reported as dry.

Healthy Ever After: Women's health screening event Oct. 19

Fall is returning to Batesville, and with that, White River Medical Center (WRMC) is excited to bring back the HealthFirst Women’s Health Event. For the ninth year, First Community Bank (FCB) and WRMC have partnered to offer area women an event focused on women’s health. This year’s HealthFirst Women’s Health Event will be a drive-thru screening at the Batesville Community Center and Aquatics Gymnasium parking lot from 2-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

This year’s event theme, “Healthy Ever After,” will bring a royal flair that encourages women of all ages to value their health.

“Women often spend so much time taking care of others that they neglect their own health and well-being,” said Michele Wood, Executive Director of Marketing and Foundation at White River Health System. “For nine years, we’ve had the great pleasure to work with First Community Bank to give the women of our community a fun night out. While this year’s event will look much different from past events, we are eager to modify the event for our community’s safety and still bring important screenings to the women in our area. We encourage friends, sisters, mothers, and daughters to hop in the car together and drive through our event to get the available screenings.”

FCB and WRMC are asking for attendees to register for the event in advance at healthfirst-tickets.eventbrite.com. Due to the unpredictability of COVID-19, attendees are asked to wear a mask while participating in the screenings.

The primary purpose of the HealthFirst Women’s Event is to raise awareness and provide practical tools for disease prevention and overall good health. HealthFirst will include free screenings such as blood pressure, COVID-19 vaccinations, flu shots, glucose and cholesterol, heart health CT scheduling, and mammography scheduling.

While supplies last, guests 18 and older will receive free house slippers and other goodies.

FCB and WRMC will also host a virtual HealthFirst event October 18-22 to provide educational resources and videos for participants. Participants will have an opportunity to win door prizes daily during the virtual event. Find the HealthFirst Virtual Event on the White River Health System Facebook page. For questions and more information, call (870) 262-6149.