AUGUSTA — The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council hosted its third annual Inclusion Celebration April 25 in the Hall of Flags at the State House, celebrating the efforts of high school juniors and seniors who created essays and artworks reflecting on the meaning of full inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in our communities.

The council also honored Sen. Angus King for his advocacy for those with disabilities and for their full inclusion in Maine communities. King’s aide, Scott Wilkinson, was on hand to give a brief presentation and to show a short video acceptance provided by the senator, who said of the work of the Disabilities Council, “Every business I talk to, no matter where I am in the state, the number one problem they have is workforce, is people. So by working with developmentally disabled people, you are helping to fill an important gap in the economic future of Maine. And of course, what you’re doing is so important to those individuals. You are literally changing lives, you are building lives. You’re making such an important contribution,” according to a news release from Jessica Gorton, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council.

The students honored were Caleb Richardson, Cony High School; Sophia DeSchiffart, Narraguagus High School; Taylor Files, Windham High School; Corilie Green, Freeport High School; Raveena Angotti, Hodgdon High School; McKenna Troast, Freeport High School; Lily Goltz, Lincoln Academy; and Alexander Les, Freeport High School. Two educators, Tom Wells from Cony High School and Michelle Birkenshaw from Narraguagus High School were also recognized for their encouragement and support, as well as Hodgdon and Freeport high schools for their extraordinary student participation.

For more information, email Gorton at [email protected].