March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! It’s a month to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day event occurred virtually. More than 700 participants tuned into the one-hour program that began at 10:00 to hear from DODD Director Jeff Davis, Ohio Tech Ambassadors, and keynote speaker Dr. Kara Ayers from the University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Governor Mike DeWine opened the virtual ceremony with a welcome video. Additionally, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague provided recorded comments recognizing DD Awareness Month. The event was once again masterfully led by Shari Cooper. More than 100 virtual legislative meetings took place following the opening ceremonies. Check out the DD Awareness & Advocacy Facebook page to view the live video from the event.
Moving Towards Change is this year's theme. In the spirit of that theme, the latest Ohio DD Talks podcast episode talks about the importance of the advocacy work done by and for Ohioans with DD. The podcast includes members from the Ohio Task Force on Advocacy. You can see the episode here: What Does Advocacy Really Mean?
The Administration on Community Living (ACL) shared their blog post in recognizition of DD Awareness Month, written by Alison Barkoff, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging. "Each March, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month offers us a chance to lift up the many ways people with DD make our communities stronger and showcase the hard work of self-advocates and the DD network across the country to advance the civil rights of people with DD. DD Awareness Month also gives us the chance to raise awareness of the remaining barriers to self-determination and inclusion for people with DD, and more importantly, what we need to do to remove them. Those barriers have been starkly visible during the COVID-19 pandemic. This past year has brought unprecedented challenges for people with DD, their families, and the many professionals and volunteers who provide services and support." Read the entire blog article here.
Want to join the DD Awareness Month celebration? Join the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities' #DDawareness2021 social media campaign. NACDD has graphics, tips, and a resource guide with suggested content to share throughout the month.