It is with great sadness I write to express the terrible void the passing of State Sen. Wayne Norman is leaving in the State of Maryland and in our hearts. As the CEO of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, I speak on behalf of everyone in our organization in saying we were truly humbled while reflecting on the incredible impact Sen. Norman left on The Arc NCR — an honor exemplifying the legacy of one of our greatest public ambassadors.

Many people may not realize the positive difference Sen. Norman had on the intellectual and developmental disability (differing abilities) community. Not only did he donate to The Arc NCR for many, many years, he was a strong advocate in the business and legislative community. His office hired individuals supported by The Arc NCR, and he regularly met with other local companies to promote equal employment for people with differing abilities.

Each year, Annapolis hosts Developmental Disabilities Day (DD Day) through The Arc Maryland. It is an opportunity for individuals with differing abilities to visit the House and Senate buildings to meet with their elected officials to discuss critical disability issues and make a make a dramatic impact on public policy decisions. Sen. Norman always made DD Day extra special by hosting a pizza party in his office for supported individuals.

Sen. Norman was continually welcoming and inclusive during the advocacy process, and always just “a phone call away.” His genuine passion for helping others will be missed, and we feel fortunate to have enjoyed one last pizza party with him this past Feb. 22 on DD Day. Thank you, Sen. Norman, for your everlasting support, and our condolences and thoughts go out to the Norman family during this most difficult time.

Shawn Kros serves as the CEO of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region.

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