Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

2018 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month Celebrate Community

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to create awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life, and to share the stories of individuals with a disability to show that a successful life is possible! The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has chosen Celebrate CommUNITY as the theme for 2018.

Visit this web page, our Facebook page and our Twitter page throughout the month to discover resources, stories and more from around the state and the country on how people with disabilities have become a part of their community.

We encourage you to participate in DD Awareness Month too! Send us your stories, resources and pictures by emailing And remember to post information on your own personal social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you do, be sure to use the hashtag #DDAwareness18 to join in on the conversation with the rest of the country!

Developmental Disability Month News, Stories and Resources

Celebrate DD Awareness & Advocacy Day on March 7, 2018 at the Ohio Statehouse!

DD Advocacy & Awareness Day is an annual event taking place at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The event is designed to educate and empower people with developmental disabilities, their families, and community members. The morning program features speeches from prominent advocates, state policymakers, and community leaders. The afternoon is used for advocates to visit their legislators to talk about issues that are important to them and their community.

Although registration is closed for this event, you can participate in other ways:

Pictures and more will be posted on this website and our Facebook page in the days following the event.

Download the fact sheet that advocates will use during their talks with legislators: Direct Support Workforce Fact Sheet

Celebrate CommUNITY: Ohio community comes together to raise money to made the dream of an all-inclusive playground a reality

Earlier this year, a high school in Mason, Ohio raised over $20,000 at a basketball game of athletes who use wheelchairs to put toward "Common Ground," a playground with ramps and equipment adapted to accommodate children with physical disabilities. This fundraiser adds to the previous donations of $800,000 to make this dream become a reality.

Read the full article: Mason City Schools wheelchair basketball game raises over $20K for inclusive playground

Celebrate CommUNITY: Working in the community

Community employment is a high priority for many people with disabilities. And with the appropriate supports and services it can happen! Read stories of how several Ohioans with disabilities found and work at jobs (that they enjoy!) in their communities.

Read the booklet: Community Employment booklet

Celebrate CommUNITY: Using Person First Language

Putting the person first means treating others as you would want to be treated. When communicating, it goes one step further; it means that whenever possible, mention the person first, and follow it with any necessary description of a disability. Say, the woman who is blind instead of the blind woman. In other words, the person is first a person and second a person with a disability. And just as it isn’t always necessary to convey the color of a person’s hair, it also is not always necessary to mention that a person has a disability.

Read the booklet: Person First Language: A Guide to Help Put the Person First When Communicating About People with Disabilities

Celebrate CommUNITY: Living independently

Many people with disabilities want to live independently in the community. And with the right supports and services, that can become a reality! Read a publication written by the Ohio DD Council that highlights several individuals who successfully transitioned to independent living.

Read the booklet: Transition to Independence

Celebrate CommUNITY: Planning for the future

The "It's My Choice" resource, created by the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, is a workbook for people with disabilities to plan out different aspects of their lives. This resource contains planning guides so that people with disabilities can be involved in their own service, transition, and employment plans.

Download the workbook: It's My Choice

Celebrate CommUNITY: Cleveland area store offers integrated employment

Two Cafe and Boutique located in Chagrin Falls, Cleveland provides an opportunity for people who have developmental and physical disabilities to work alongside others in an integrated environment.

Celebrate CommUNITY: Cleveland area store offers integrated employment

Two Cafe and Boutique located in Chagrin Falls, Cleveland provides an opportunity for people who have developmental and physical disabilities to work alongside others in an integrated environment. Read this story of how Shari Hunter was inspired to open this store because of her desire to find meaningful employment for her son who has a developmental disability.

Read more here: How 1 small-town cafe is changing the face of the workforce

Celebrate CommUNITY: Project STIR inspires people with disabilities to become stronger advocates

Project STIR (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility) holds statewide meetings for Ohioans with disabilities to share their local advocacy efforts with others and gain leadership experience. Watch a video made by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to see what goes on during Project STIR meetings and how its helping people with disabilities become stronger advocates.