March is recognized as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month since declared by former President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Traditionally, the month of March is used to spread public awareness of the issues facing Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
This year’s campaign takes on an added twist. Not only do we want to circulate awareness, but we also want to expand the message to encompass inclusion and accessibility. The theme for 2018 is See Me for Me. To us, this means looking beyond someone’s disability and seeing them as a person and not just a person with a disability.
We wish to expand the conversation around the accomplishments of individuals with developmental disabilities and how they are working, participating, and contributing to their communities.
Opengate’s participation in the campaign endorses the message that the public needs to be encouraged to look beyond a person’s disability and see them as a person with an “ability.” Opportunities are necessary for individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. They are your classmates, neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
The See Me for Me campaign is using several avenues to reach the public, including social media, using the hashtags #seemeforme and #DDAwareness18. If you are active on Facebook and Twitter, we ask that you share our post to extend the reach of our message.
Feel free to leave comments, share your stories of success, and let the public know that if they embrace a more diverse community it will help break down the barriers and stereotypes for all people with disabilities. Your support is needed, not only for March, but throughout the year.