People First chapter formed


Don't call them disabled. Call them people with disabilities. That's the message of People First, a national organization that has held its first meeting in Clayton County.

"There are people here with disabilities that want to be heard in a positive way. They want to have the same rights and opportunities as others," said paraplegic Bill Askew, who spearheaded the local chapter.

Also involved in kicking off the new chapter was fellow paraplegic Bruce Cherry and Virginia Ford of the Clayton Center's Community Integrated Services worker.

Clayton's People First chapter has 20 members, all of whom are consumers of the Clayton Center. But Ford said the organization is open to anyone who has a disability.

"Each one has a reason for living. We would like for everyone with a disability to come together," Agnew said. "This is just the beginning for all disabled people, not only for Cerebral Palsy, but for people with all types of disabilities, including blindness, hearing impairment and mental retardation."

The organization has two primary focuses: self-advocacy and self help.

For more information call Clayton Center Behavioral Health Services at (770) 478-1099.

Clayton Center provides services that minimize the impact of mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse in the lives of persons served and their families while supporting their inclusion in the community.