LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Mayor's Commission on Disability was established almost 30 years ago. It was created to increase access to better employment opportunities, public transportation, education and healthcare in Lake Charles.
The commission held its biennial conference Wednesday. Vendors, speakers, and resources were available to all who came. This year's theme, "Working together as one," is a call to action for the community, businesses, organizations, and professionals to strengthen their understanding of individuals with disabilities and provide more opportunities for them.
Esther Vincent, director of Community Development and Services, as well as a liaison of the Mayor's Commission on Disability, says "We bring all of these people in and show them how successful you can be and not worry about what has happened. Let's just move forward and make a difference in your life and others lives."
The commission also handed out its first "Champion of the Year" award. Their 2018 recipient was Harrison Veuleman, a 21-year-old Lake Charles native diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He graduated from Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School in 2012 and from St. Louis Catholic High School Transitions program in 2016. He won the high school division of the SEED Center Business Pitch competition in 2017. He created his own business, Harry's Happy Tails, where he and his family bake and sell homemade dog treats. He creates all sorts of flavors, such as applesauce, peanut butter, and banana. His dog, Luna, is his taste tester. You can visit his shop HERE. The commission doesn't just assist those with disabilities, it spreads awareness that just because someone may be different does not mean they are not capable. Commission meetings are held from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month.
If you want more information on the Mayor's Commission on Disability, click HERE.