Man watering plants in greenhouse.

DDI's Self-Advocacy Day 2018

The Self-Advocacy Group’s vision is to “Explore the world with us, not for us.” Their mission is “To advocate for ourselves and others, resulting in meaningful and productive lifetime accomplishments and personal choices.” This day was a full representation of these statements as special guest speakers and members of DDI’s Self-Advocacy Group addressed the participants with motivational stories and encouraging words for attaining success and fulfillment.

Brian Aubin, founder and operator of Brian Aubin Yoga and Wellness shared his life experiences and offered his advice for achieving and maintaining a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle and the importance of reaching out for help if it is needed. He also shared that he is continuing his education to further assist people with challenges to become the best they can be.

Mark and John Cronin, co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, also took the time to present to the guests. John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son venture inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” Theirs is a business built on love, and they are on a mission to spread happiness through socks. They spoke of their business journey and encouraged the attendees to do what they love and be ready, willing, and able to work. “I have Down syndrome, but Down syndrome never holds me back,” commented John during their speech. No matter what a person is facing, these powerful words highlight the meaning of determination and perseverance.

Paul and Jeffrey, two individuals from DDI’s Self-Advocacy Group, also presented their experiences as hard-working community members and the benefits they have realized from these opportunities. The day concluded with an interactive survey to discover job interests and breakout sessions to learn about relaxation at work, relationships, and finding success in the workplace.

Every person has the right and the capacity to be a productive member of society in whatever way they can contribute. DDI’s Self-Advocacy Day focused on this potential and offered valuable insights for achieving a lifetime of meaningful accomplishments.