Since 1987 the month of March signifies Developmental Disability Awareness Month to expand public awareness of the issues facing Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Traditionally, the month is seen as a time to educate and communicate to communities about specific needs of individuals with IDD and how we can improve their quality of life.
When reflecting on the progress that has been made in past years throughout the disability community, we can not forget that each person in that community is one of a kind with singular talents, abilities, and expertise.
This year OPWWD is spearheading the campaign “One of a Kind” to highlight unique contributions of individuals, families, caregivers, and agencies throughout the month of March on an interactive calendar.
Every day, an online calendar will reveal a new person or people with developmental disabilities, encouraging visitors to reflect upon their individuality and how their contributions enhance the fabric of our communities and our state. Visit the calendar daily here: https://opwdd.ny.gov/OneofAKind
Some of the issues facing individuals with IDD are inclusion in employment opportunities, community living, educational possibilities, and self-advocacy. And, again, each individual’s needs in these areas are “one of a kind” and must be addressed as such.
We are encouraged to experience progress and its ability to offer more freedom and independence to individuals who are able to take advantage of its benefits. Awareness, acceptance, and assistance for people with disabilities greatly adds to inclusion and changing public perceptions.
To participate in this year’s Developmental Disability Awareness Month, share the stories about Opengate and its individuals, and encourage others in your circle to become aware of our incredible programs.
Throughout the month of March use the hashtags #DDAwareness19 and #OneofaKind19 to show support as well as help educate those who may not be informed about the wonderful community of individuals we serve.