As you can well imagine we have been standing by awaiting details about December 2, 2015 tragic shooting at the Inland Regional Center. On the day of the attack, during our Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Southern California conference we stopped for a moment of silence to reflect on the fact that we are all part of one community and while we have our different perspectives on supporting people with developmental disabilities we are all, in the end, one community.
The brutal attack has so many unanswered questions but what's clear is that senseless violence and bloodshed occurred in one if our homes, Inland Regional Center (IRC), and our hearts ache for those who died, those who are seriously injured, those threatened, and those who's fear on that day will impact their lives for a very long time if not forever.
By the week’s end as the details of this week’s horrific shooting unfold the entire nation remains stunned. However as one gets closer and closer to the site of this tragedy the personal pain and agony becomes even more palpable. Additionally for the developmental disabilities community, yesterday we learned that one of the 14 victims who died in the shooting was Daniel Kaufman, a direct support professional (DSP) who provided job training from Pathways in the IRC in-house coffee shop Coffee N More, working to help people with developmental disabilities learn to work and be part of their community. Our DSPs provide the most important supports to people with disabilities and our hearts go out to the many people who's lives were touched by Mr. Kaufman.
As we continue to learn more over the next couple of days let us never forget we are all people in this struggle together and that we are resilient because we are together and we are stronger and more powerful than any evil that produced this act of terror.
The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration