March is Disabilities Awareness Month and people with mental and physical handicaps joined Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey in City Hall Monday morning to mark the occasion.
"Everybody could recognize what we have and how we live in this community," said 23 year-old Jeremiah Steven.
Steven has fetal alcohol syndrome, ADD, and is bi-polar. But since he came to Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming, or RENEW, his focus has shifted to gaining new skills.
"They help quite a bit. They teach me how to cook and stuff," said Steven.
RENEW helps clients find work and Jeremiah hopes to get a janitorial job soon. In the meantime he's volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels to local senior citizens.
"Meals on Wheels is pretty fun," said Steven.
RENEW managers say the month will include several more events and activities to promote disabilities awareness.
"We have a disability awareness walk. We had a jump in the lake, it's called a Jackalope Jump. This was a fundraiser for Special Olympics," said RENEW President and CEO Chris Ahlstrom.
Ahlstrom hopes partnering with the city will help educate the public about how people with disabilities live and contribute to society.
"It gives us the opportunity to get additional notoriety," said Ahlstrom
"They're still part of society. They still want to make a contribution. They still want to live and they deserve our respect," said Kinskey.
Before coming to RENEW Jeremiah says he felt different compared to everyone else. But thanks to increased public awareness and the staff at RENEW he's lost that feeling.
"I feel like one of everyone. I think RENEW's helped with that," said Steven.
As public awareness grows, more people with disabilities may share Jeremiah's mindset.