“Numbers do not feel.
Do not bleed or weep or hope.
They do not know bravery or sacrifice.
Love and allegiance.
At the very apex of callousness,
you will find only ones and zeros.”
— Amie Kaufman, New York Times best-selling author
No doubt you have heard the expression, “The numbers tell the story.” If that was true, then it only figures that the Philadelphia Eagles, after a stunning 13-3 regular season, would go on to beat the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl LII shoot-out by a score of 41-33. But do the numbers really tell the story? Or do numbers simply reveal a piece of the story? Does it not matter that the team was mired in last place with a losing record just the preceding season? Or that it had to overcome a staggering series of devastating injuries to key players, including the team’s MVP-caliber quarterback, for the Eagles to earn their first-ever Lombardi Trophy after more than a half-century of futility?
Statistics are worth noting. But we need the complete story to put things into perspective.
Such is the case with Developmental Enterprises Corporation. The numbers say DEC is the region’s largest provider of personalized therapies, vocational and skill training, social activities and habilitation services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But do numbers alone enable us to grasp how much or how well non-profit DEC has adapted to meet the changing needs of developmentally disabled individuals and their loved ones since its founding in 1971? Or the extraordinary lengths DEC’s dedicated family of employees have gone to rise up and meet the challenges head-on? Or what is required of each one of us if DEC is to become an even more valuable asset to communities throughout the Delaware Valley?
Oh sure, numbers do tell a story. But to grasp the full picture, you’ve got to scratch beneath the surface and seek out the stories behind the numbers. These, then, are some of those stories behind the numbers … at Developmental Enterprises Corporation.
The numbers say that 10 years ago, of all the individuals who relied on DEC for tailored therapies, skill training and other services, only nine percent were age 60 or older. Within five years, the size of DEC’s senior population doubled. Today 35 percent of those who rely on DEC for a healthier, safer and more productive quality of life are age 60-plus.
Thanks largely to better nutrition, more active lifestyles, the near-abolition of institutionalization, medical breakthroughs, plus a general improvement in overall health care throughout our society, men and women who have been diagnosed with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, etc.) are living longer. That, however, is not the full story.