Morris County Marks 34th Year of Americans with Disabilities Act

Published on July 10, 2024

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DAWN Center for Independent Living Honored with Framed Proclamation

In recognition of the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners presented a framed proclamation to the DAWN Center for Independent Living (DAWNcil) during the commissioners’ board meeting this week in Morristown.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, as the first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities,” said Commissioner Director Christine Myers before handing off the proclamation. “DAWNcil is an essential nonprofit agency that works with Morris County to ensure individuals with disabilities and their families receive the support needed to be active and engaged members of our communities.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act became federal law on July 26, 1990. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 million people in the United States live with a disability. DAWNcil is one of 12 centers for independent living in New Jersey and one of more than 350 centers nationwide. Born out of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the center provides core services to individuals with all types of disabilities and works closely with Morris County’s Office of Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming.

“The disability population in the country makes up more than 20 percent of the community. It is the largest minority population in our country, and it is a population that every one of us can fall in to at any given time,” said Carmela Slivinski, Executive Director of DAWNcil, who accepted the proclamation.

Since 2019, Morris County has provided DAWNcil with Grant-In-Aid funding totaling about $550,000 for numerous programs geared towards care management for county residents ages 18 to 59 years old. The services help connect individuals to community resources and support systems, facilitating their ability to stay in their homes. According to Slivinski, Morris County represents 65 to 70 percent of the total population supported through several DAWNcil programs.

Among DAWNcil’s offerings for people with disabilities are the Recreation and Socialization Program, which aims to prevent isolation by providing a variety of in-person and virtual recreational, social, and peer support activities, and the Caregiver Support Program, which offers families educational opportunities, community resource access, and connections with professionals and fellow caregivers.

DAWN Center for Independent Living has locations in Denville and Sparta. If you would like to find out more about their programming, please call 1-888-383-DAWN (3296) or email [email protected].


Photo 1: (l-r) Commissioner Director Christine Myers, DAWNcil Executive Director Carmela Slivinski, and Shawnna Bailey, Assistant Director of Morris County’s Office of Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming. 

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