For so many of us, it’s a new concept, staying six feet from everyone around us. But for many of our ECHO participants, being kept at a distance by others is what they have always experienced. Whether living in institutions isolated from the community at large, or permanently at home once school is over due to lack of work opportunities, people with disabilities have historically been treated by society as “less than” people without disabilities. Less capable. Less in need of the things that make our lives meaningful—challenges, risks, opportunities, friendships, the dignity of a paycheck.
Once a person walks through the door at ECHO, he or she has services for life. Whether it is employment, day support, transportation, or a combination, we provide the support needed for our participants to achieve their optimal level of personal, social, and economic success. There is no greater gift than to see how people change when, sometimes for the first time, they are part of everything, accepted as they are, celebrated, and treated as equals. That is what ECHO has provided since 1975, and we plan to continue to do so long after COVID-19 is behind us.