Donald Rice (Choices In Community Living) was inducted into the Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame in Dayton in April. Donnie, as he prefers, was inducted for his efforts in the area of advocacy. Following is his nomination that led to him being selected for the 2015 class of the Hall of Fame.
Donnie is an individual who has stared adversity in the face on multiple occasions. He is a man of deep moral character who has turned life-challenging situations into positive motivators. He is a person who encourages others to look within to find their abilities. As an advocate, he has served as president of the Kuntz Center (MONCO/Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services) Advocacy Council and on the Montgomery County Board’s Advocacy Council. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Miami Valley In-Ovations housing board, which provides housing for individuals with disabilities.
Donnie spoke at a Montgomery County Commission meeting last year to advocate for changes in signage that would eliminate labeling of individuals as “handicapped”, part of a statewide effort (House Bill 265) to eliminate that word from parking and other signage and replace it with accessible. He also was a speaker at Leadership Dayton’s 2015 Human Services Day, where he immediately connected with the audience, sharing the impact that Human Services Levy funds have on his life.
Donnie’s friendliness and ability to communicate so openly, honestly and effectively has inspired and continues to inspire people to support individuals with disabilities, while encouraging individuals with disabilities to be active and positive role models, self-advocates and advocates for others.