The “PfaDFC” is not alphabet soup! It’s the acronym for the “Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community,” an initiative launched almost two years ago in response to a recommendation by a group of community leaders.
The PfaDFC – also known as the Partnership – began as a way for Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network to honor its past while providing a gift to the community that would have a positive, lasting effect on the quality of life in this region – not only for people with disabilities, but for everyone.
The Partnership includes more than 75 individuals, representatives of local human service and other provider organizations, government officials, caregivers and community leaders. It is a self- governed collaborative, and members are committed to making this region more accessible, inclusive and welcoming to people with disabilities. This is the right thing to do, and Good Shepherd believes it will position the Lehigh Valley for smart growth.
In an effort to identify the unmet needs of people with disabilities in the Lehigh Valley, the Partnership launched a research project in 2009. Good Shepherd underwrote the cost of the study, which was conducted by the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC), Findings from this fascinating research were shared with the community in December 2009.
Some of the more interesting findings – some expected and some not - were:
View a complete copy of the research report . The report also includes best practices used to address and resolve similar unmet needs of persons with disabilities in other communities.
It is clear from these findings that individuals with disabilities in the Lehigh Valley and the agencies that serve them want to contribute to the social, cultural, political and economic vibrancy of our community. These individuals are already contributing greatly to the richness of our communities, but the Lehigh Valley can do more to recognize and appreciate their achievements through greater community awareness and education.
Through the Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community, organizations, agencies and leaders who work with people with disabilities are collaborating around common concerns and working together to make the Lehigh Valley more accessible, more inclusive and more welcoming for all individuals.
If you want to learn more about or are interested in becoming a member of the Partnership, please contact me by email at email@example.com  or by calling (610) 776-3286. EVERYONE is welcome!
Cindy Lambert, M.Ed., is Good Shepherd's Vice President, Government and Community Relations.