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Steam Plant, other Spokane buildings to turn orange for developmental disability awareness

UPDATED: Tue., March 6, 2018, 10:04 a.m.

Crews from Hamon Custodis work on the west stack at Steam Plant Square, July 13, 2017. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Crews from Hamon Custodis work on the west stack at Steam Plant Square, July 13, 2017. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Lights for the Steam Plant stacks will beam in orange during March to highlight the national Developmental Disability Awareness Month in Spokane, an initiative supported locally by The Arc of Spokane.

Additionally, the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox will light its building orange, and other downtown venues including the Lincoln Building are expected to display the hue as well, said Sara Walch, The Arc of Spokane’s development coordinator.

In a March 1 ceremony, Mayor David Condon read a proclamation declaring Spokane to be a part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. City Hall will fly the Arc of Spokane’s flag for one week in March, and Lamar Advertising Company of Spokane will display a billboard on Sprague and Sullivan promoting the hashtag “#SeeMeForMe.”

The Arc, which also uses orange in its logo and branding, said the color brings a power of warmth and happiness, of building emotional attachment, and of independence. The Arc of Spokane offers support for more than 3,000 people with developmental disabilities.

Nationally, the Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 650 chapters nationwide.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation that the month of March should be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.”

Focus for the awareness month has shifted some to include raising public understanding about the importance of inclusion.