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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!


March is DD Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Month and the Ohio DD Council is partnering with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the National Disability Rights Network, and the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities to help spread awareness about people with disabilities living side by side with those who do not have a disability. The theme this year is "Life Side by Side."

Each week during March, we will be featuring resources on this web page and on he Ohio DD Council Facebook page about the following "Side by Side" topic areas:

  • Week 1: Learning Side by Side (March 6 - 10)
  • Week 2: Working Side by Side (March 13 - 17)
  • Week 3: Communities Side by Side (March 20 - 24)
  • Week 4: Life Side by Side (March 26 - 31)

Become involved! Throughout the month, we encourage you to share your stories on your own Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other social media. Be sure to include the hashtag  ‪#DDAwareness17‬ with your post to help spread awareness among your own network of family and friends. You can find more information and resources that you are welcome to use at http://nacdd.org/ddam/.

Week 1: Learning Side by Side

Learning Side by Side - Resources
March 10, 2017

Week 1 of Disability Awareness Month is coming to a close. This week's topic was "Learning Side by Side." Check out these resources that relate to education for children and young adults with disabilities.

DD Awareness and Advocacy Day at Ohio Statehouse to be broadcast live
March 6, 2017

Learning about issues that have an impact on disabilities is an important part of being an advocate. Each year, the Ohio DD Council funds a grant to hold a Developmental Disability Awareness and Advocacy Day at the Ohio Statehouse where advocates join together, listen to numerous speakers and then make visits to their legislators to discuss current disability-related issues of importance. This year's event will be held on Wednesday, March 8. Although registration is closed, you can still "attend" by watching the event live from the Ohio Channel beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, go to DD Awareness and Advocacy Day website at  https://ddohio.wordpress.com/.

DD Awareness and Advocacy Day is a success!
March 9, 2017

This year's DD Awareness and Advocacy Day was probably the best ever! Many speakers shared their experiences and inspirational stories, there was live entertainment, and a surprise appearance by Ohio's Governor! Take some time to watch the hour-long event on the Ohio Channel.


Week 2: Working Side by Side

Ohio DD Council offers several publications about Employment
March 13, 2017

This week for DD Awareness Month, we focus on "Working Side by Side." The Ohio DD Council provides many publications for people with disabilities and other stakeholders, including several that cover employment for people with disabilities. The publications cover information regarding community employment options, Medicaid Buy-In for workers with disabilities, and more. Visit our Publications - Employment Topics on our website to download and read these publications.

Council Staff member's article about DD Awareness Month published on 3rd Rail Politics
March 13, 2017

Read an article written by DD Council's Paul Jarvis, Public Policy Staff, for "3rd Rail Politics" about Developmental Disability Awareness Month. His article provides information and insight into the history of DD Awareness Month, and the importance for people with and without disabilities to live side by side in our communities. Read the article: Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is Here

Employment First in Ohio
March 16, 2017

The month of March is designated as Developmental Disability Awareness Month. This year's theme is "Living Side by Side." Each week a different topic about living side by side is featured. This week it is about employment: Working Side by Side. With that in mind, the Ohio DD Council would like to highlight Ohio's Employment First initiative.

In March of 2012, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an Executive Order establishing the Employment First initiative. The goal of this initiative was and continues to be to make community employment the first option for all individuals with developmental disabilities of working age. According to the Employment First website, "Agencies are directed to provide a person-centered planning process for every individual of working age to identify their desired employment goal and their place on the path to community employment." The intended outcome is to expand community employment opportunities by reducing barriers and aligning state policy.

By giving individuals the opportunity to work in the communities in which they live, they earn a salary, pay taxes and develop friendships and relationships in the community. And it shows employers the value that an employee with a disability can bring to their businesses. Need proof? Read stories about several Ohioans with disabilities who are successfully working in the community in our publication, Employment First Initiative: Community Employment.

Community employment is critical and many individuals benefit from the Employment First model. However, change can be difficult and sometimes people with disabilities, parents and caregivers are concerned about the transition to this new model. The Ohio DD Council created a questions-and-answer brochure, Ohio's March to Greater Independence - Community Employment to provide answers to some of the most common concerns. In addition, the Employment First website provides many resources for individuals and professionals in Ohio about Transition Services.

Week 3 - Communities Side by Side

Advocates in the news for DD Advocacy Awareness Day
March 22, 2017

DD Awareness and Advocacy Day was held at the Ohio Statehouse on March 8, 2017. Hundreds of advocates gathered to listen to speakers, watch presentations, and enjoy a musical performance. Most importantly, after the gathering was over, many advocates visited legislators to talk about issues that are important to them. Read news coverage about some of the groups of advocates who attended and how they participated on that day, as well as doing other activities for DD Awareness Month.