On Oct. 8 hundreds of Californians will gather on the El Dorado Trail for the Gold Rush Fun Run & Walk to raise awareness of people with developmental disabilities and increase understanding of the vital programs the nonprofit organization InAlliance provides in El Dorado, Sacramento and surrounding counties.
“We chose to host a fun run, because it brings together people from all walks of life in an inclusive activity,” said InAlliance Executive Director Diana DeRodeff. “The best way to change stereotypes about people with developmental disabilities is to show how truly capable they are.”
Disability is peculiar word. We hear about it all the time, but what does it really mean? Is it a limitation, a condition, a disadvantage, a handicap? When a person has a disability they are immediately separated into a group outside of the norm. Because they are unable to do something, or because they must do that something differently, they get stamped with the word “disability” and suddenly they are seen in a different light. This separation increases dramatically, when a person has a developmental disability, because society doesn’t understand what it means.
For years the stereotypes about developmental disabilities have kept thousands of people on the outskirts of society. They have been labeled as incompetent and kept from living, working and participating in their communities. While we like to think that these views are changing, there are still many stigmas and misinformation attached to developmental disabilities and the nonprofit organization InAlliance plans to change that.
InAlliance has advocated for people with developmental disabilities since 1952, and believes that given the right skills and support, all people are capable of success.
“We have been providing work and life skills training, supported employment programs, and supported living services to people with developmental disabilities for nearly 60 years, but there is still a lack of understanding about our programs,” said DeRodeff. “We believe educating the community directly will bring a greater awareness to InAlliance and the people we serve.”
InAlliance staff and volunteers have kept the organization afloat during our unstable economic climate, but their program budgets have seen huge cuts and they hope to engage community support at the event.
The organization’s Gold Rush Fun Run & Walk features 10 mile, 10K, 5K and 1 mile courses along the El Dorado Trail that culminate in a finish line celebration with refreshments, music, awards and raffle prizes. The event goes from 8 a.m. until noon and begins at the El Dorado Trail’s county trail head off Jacquier Road in Placerville. Registration is still open. If you are interested in participating in the event or volunteering visit goldrushfunrun.com or call (916) 381-1300.