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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Fair Board Blocks Teen Because Of Disability
January 10, 2003

LAKE WALES, FLORIDA--Justin Ryan Kelly has been told he could not participate in the Polk County Youth Fair because he has cerebral palsy and uses a walker.

Kelly, a 17-year-old high school senior, has been involved in Future Farmers of American (FFA) since he was a freshman. He has been an important member of the steer-judging team and has been involved in other activities in the agricultural program.

He planned to show a pig named "Bacon" that he has raised, but the fair board considers him a liability because of his disability and will not allow him to participate.

"It's a liability thing," said one board member. "For kids on a walker, they can get hurt in a pen where there's 15 or 20 hogs in there at the time."

Justin's dad pointed out that Justin had no problems when he was in pens with 1,200-pound cattle as a member of the steer-judging team.

His family plans to meet with the board next Thursday to discuss the issue and try to get them to change their position.

Related article:
"'Bake A Cake', he's told" (Polk County News Chief)


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