Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Colorful artwork of shapes including words of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.

During March, visit this web page, our Facebook page and our Twitter page to discover resources, stories and more from around the state and the country on how supports and services are enabling people with developmental disabilities to become a part of their community in places where they want to live, work and go. 

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 hashtags #DDawareness2020 to join in on the conversation with the rest of the country!

The following are resources that inform about supports and services that matter to people with developmental disabilities. We will be adding to the list throughout the month of March. We also encourage you to send us your stories, resources and pictures to add to our list by emailing

Alphabet Soup

Publication / Resource

As a self-advocate, you probably hear and read many acronyms used in the disability field. This brochure is a guide to disability-related acronyms and their meanings. Read the booklet: Alphabet Soup: A Guide to Disability Related Acronyms

Community employment

Publication / Employment

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 these booklets:

Council in the community

Article / Stories

Read articles about Ohio DD Council members who are working to make a difference in their own communities. More here: Council in the Community

DD Council members are advocates for change

Video / Stories

Current and former members of the Ohio DD Council talk about their experiences and how being a member of Council helped make them stronger advocates for change. See the videos here: Council Member Spotlight Videos

Fight for your rights!

Video / Stories

Niko, who lives in Oregon, won an essay contest and was selected for a trip. But when the program learned that Niko experiences autism and uses a letter board to communicate, it withdrew his prize. Niko protested this discrimination with the help of Disability Rights Oregon. Watch Niko's story here: Niko's Story

Find an assistive technology lending library

Publication / Assistive Technology

This online guide provides downloadable documents and an online Google map to increase awareness and access to resources from lending libraries of assistive technology for Ohioans with disabilities. For more information: Online Guide to Assistive Technology Lending Programs in Ohio

Guardianship in Ohio

Publication / Guardianship

This booklet is for families who have a child with a developmental disability but may be relevant for others who need to navigate the often confusing and intimidating world of probate court and guardianship. The booklet aims to help families and individuals understand the strategies available to plan for an individual with a disability, lessen the fear of guardianship, and provide guidance so that all individuals in Ohio live as happily, productively, and independently as possible. Read the booklet: Guardianship in Ohio

Why hire people with disabilities?

Article / Employment

Research shows that more inclusive companies are twice as likely to have higher total shareholder returns than their peers, on average. Additionally, companies that have become more inclusive over time are four times more likely to have total shareholder returns that outperform those of their peer group. Learn more from an article written by the World Economic Forum: What Companies Gain by Including Persons with Disabilities

Inclusion matters!

Video / Stories

This short video features people with develomental disabilities telling what inclusion means to them and why everyone wins when everyone is included. View the video: Everyone Wins When Everyone's Included!

It's all about attitude

Video / Stories

An inspirational video about a young mans quest to live the life he wants. The video was produced by the Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia UCEDD. Watch the video: It's All About Attitude

Living independently in the community

Publication / Stories / Community Living

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

Ohio's DD Awareness and Advocacy Day

Event / Public Policy

This year's DD Awareness and Advocacy Day will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. This event is held by the Ohio Provider Resource Association in collaboration with other organizations and funded by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. Registration is full but you can learn more about the event here: DD Awareness & Advocacy Day

One Question

Video / Stories

"One Question" is a short documentary directed by Anthony Di Savlo that includes eight people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All were asked to answer the same question: If you can change one thing about yourself, what would you change? 

What do you think their answers are? You might be surprised! Check it out here:

This video is among many produced by Sproutflix, the only distributor of films exclusively featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Person First Language

Publication / Resource

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. Read more: Person First Language

Planning for bright tomorrows

Publication / Estate and Future Planning

Information about estate and future planning for Ohioans with developmental disabilities and those who love them. This booklet was written by Logan K. Philipps, Esq. & William K. Root, Esq. and published by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. Available in many formats. For more information: Planning for Bright Tomorrows

Reach the unserved and underserved

Initiative / Outreach

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council conducts outreach activities to identify individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who otherwise might not come to the attention of the Council and enable individuals and families to obtain services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance including access to special adaptation of generic community or specialized services. Learn more by checking out Outreach to the Unserved and Underserved and Outreach Issue Briefs.

Spread the word to end the word!


Although progress has been made in recent years to end the use of the "R" word, there is still work to be done. Help "spread the word to end the word" during DD Awareness Month! Check out this video from Assured Health Ohio: Spread the Word to End the Word

Transportation challenges

Publication / Transportation

This study found that obtaining safe, affordable, and appropriate transportation options can be very difficult for Ohioans with disabilities. Barriers, as well as some success stories, are shared throughout the report. Read the report: Transportation Challenges for Ohioans with Disabilities. See also the Transportation Impact Sheet

Using technology with evidence based early intervention

Video / Early Intervention

This video series shows how video, video conferencing, and related technologies can improve access to, and the quality of, supports for families as well as better enable teams to practice evidence-based early intervention services. Links to videos are found here: EI Video Series