Congratulations are due Mayor Anthony Ferrera for receiving the Somerset County Freeholders' 2008 Disability Advocate Award. Mr. Ferrera has been a volunteer in the special needs community for nearly thirty years and serves as a regional director for the Organization for Autism Research. As a member of the Hillsborough Township Committee, and as mayor, he has been a driving force behind inclusive recreation programs and Hillsborough's award winning Camp HEART, an inclusive summer camp for children with developmental disabilities.
I have been a proponent and supporter of inclusive recreation programs in Hillsborough since their inception over two years ago. While our efforts here have been laudable, and have served as a model for other communities, I am sure Mayor Ferrera would agree that our programs can always be improved and expanded.
From the beginning, I have felt that our specific inclusive recreation programs should be used as a tool to learn how to make ALL of our recreation programs more accessible to children and adults with disabilities. A better understanding of the recreational needs and requirements of people in the special needs community can be obtained through observation of inclusive recreation.
The ultimate goal is to achieve a barrier free community, where individuals with mental or physical disabilities can participate in activities of their choosing.
Thank you Mayor Ferrera for your efforts in making this possible.