Harford County Executive, Bob Cassilly, met with self-advocacy group Voices of US at Aspire Living & Learning. Cassilly was accompanied by Department of Community Services Director, Joseph Sliwka, and Public Information Officer, Sam Kahl. Cassilly addressed the 34 people in attendance about their concerns, including weekend access to public transportation and road conditions.
Cassilly recognized Aspire’s support for the self-advocates, saying, “Thank you to Aspire for providing the needed supports to many members our community…you have a team of dedicated, committed and passionate people.”
Voices of US is open to anyone with IDD and is facilitated by Aspire Living & Learning. They began meeting with Cassilly in 2019 in Annapolis, when Cassilly was a state senator. Harford County services are a significant resource for people with IDD, so Voices of US values the continued support from Cassilly as County Executive.
Aspire and participants in Voices of US have multiple ties to the county. County facilities are available for Aspire’s community participation programming, where people with IDD explore and engage with their communities. “We have a good relationship with the county. For example, the recreation department recently reached out for Aspire’s input into their planning for a daytime dance event,” says Parnell Barmer, director of Aspire’s Day Options program and member of the county’s Commission on Disability. Aspire also participated in two spring events hosted by the county: Empower - Planning Your Journey to Adulthood expo and Project Connect resource fair.
“Public officials like Bob Cassilly, who understand the needs of people with IDD and the importance of our work, are invaluable. Full participation in community life by people with IDD is made possible by the commitment of people like Bob,” said CEO, Lou Giramma.