Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Graphic for the March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with the theme of Supports Matter.

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 Supports Matter as the theme for 2019.

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 supports matter by enabling people with disabilities to become a part of their community. #DDawareness19

Supports Matter

The following are resources that inform about how supports matter to people with developmental disabilities. We will be adding to the list throughout the month.

We encourage you to send us your stories, resources and pictures to add to our list 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 #DDAwareness19 to join in on the conversation with the rest of the country!


Community 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:

Goodwill Celebrates Employment Success During DD Awareness Month

Read an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer on how supports from Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and Goodwill helped a young man find meaningful and successful employment. Read the article: Goodwill Celebrates Employment Success

Community Inclusion

Living Independently in the Community

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

Everyone Wins When Everyone’s Included!

What does inclusion mean to you? That's the question posed to people with and without disabilities in this video celebration of National Developmental Disabilities Month. View the video:

Just Like You!

Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Life Side by Side:

Inclusion Today - Community for Life

From Georgetown UCEDD, when Megan Scully's four month old son, Danny, was diagnosed with a developmental disability resulting from genetic brain lesions, two of the first questions she asked the doctors were, "Would he ever go to school?" and "Would he ever make friends?" Find out how it happened:

Raising Awareness and Teaching Inclusion

From WKRC (Channel 12) in Cincinnati, watch Lisa Davis, director of community relations for the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, along two women who both receive support from Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, talk about the services and how they help. Watch the video: Raising Awareness and Teaching Inclusion

Gallia Recognizes DD Awareness Month

The Gallipolis Daily Tribune reports that the Gallia County Board of Commissioners met with Gallia County Board of Developmental Disabilities officials at both the Gallia Courthouse and Guiding Hand School to recognize March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and to discuss the future of the school, the board and its clients. Read the article: Gallia Recognizes DD Awareness Month

You Can Make a Difference in Peoples Lives

The Norwalk Reflector wrote about an inspirational speaker who attended the DD Awareness Month Community Breakfast sponsored by the Huron County Board of DD. Read more here: You Can Make a Difference in Peoples Lives

'Side by Side' Art Honors Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

The Ottawa County Board Developmental Disabilities held its second annual “Side by Side” art class, offering an all-inclusive painting program led by local artist Mackenzie Warren, of Oak Tree Art Studio in Oak Harbor. Read about the event in the Port Clinton News Herald: 'Side by Side' Art Honors DD Awareness Month

March is DD Awareness Month

Read how the Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities and other related organizations celebrated Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, including signing a proclamation and displaying artwork by people with develomental disabilities at a local library. The article is from the The Register-Herald: March is DD Awareness Month

Richland Newhope Holds 18th Annual Community Awareness Day

In Mansfield on March 14, people representing businesses, schools, and agencies in Richland County participated in the 18th Annual Community Awareness Day Thursday morning. This event was sponsored by Richland Newhope and the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and was one of several events held in honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. Event participants had the opportunity to learn how adaptive equipment can assist people with disabilities in the challenges they face daily. Then they were paired with hosts and taken to several Richland Newhope facilities, provider agencies, and into the community where individuals who receive county board supports work, live, or attend school. The event ended with a luncheon where the participants shared their experience. Learn more about the event from WMFD News: Richland Newhop Holds 18th Annual Community Awareness Day

Service Dog Bridges Gap for Boy with Develomental Disabilities

Read about a 10-year old boy who lives in Chillicothe is receiving life-saving support from his service dog who can detect his seizures. His mom talks about how his dog, Loretta, has also worked to educate people about individuals with developmental disabilities. Read the article from the Chillicothe Gazette: Service Dog Bridges Gap for Boy with DD 

Counties Working to Raise Awareness During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

In southwestern Ohio, County Boards of Developmental Disabilities from Greene, Montgomery, Warren, Butler, Clermont and Hamilton counties collaborated on several projects and hosted their own events. Many of these events focused on themes of self-advocacy and enhancing independence. Read the article from the Fox25Now: Counties Working to Raise Awareness During DD Awareness Month

Public Policy

DD Awareness and Advocacy Day

On March 5, 2019 at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, the Ohio DD Council joined with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, and the Ohio Self Determination Association for the 2019 DD Awareness and Advocacy Day. The day started with an hour-long event of speakers on different topics that affect Ohioans with developmental disabilities. The following Fact Sheets, including talking points, were created for the people who registered and scheduled a time to speak with their representatives the afternoon of the day of the event.

For more information about the event: DD Awareness & Advocacy Day

OCALI's Office of Policy

In recognition of DD Awareness Month, the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)'s Office of Policy has been coordinating with multiple organizations and agencies to maximize the opportunity to educate policy makers about the challenges, opportunities and possibilities for Ohio’s DD community, its stakeholders and its supporters. Take a look at their new webpage of resources and information about these efforts and more at


Blog: Ohio First in Assistive Technology

Technology is becoming an important and - many times - a fairly inexpensive way to provide supports for people with developmental disabilities to live more independently. Read what Shari Cooper of Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley has to say in her blog about the importance of technology and how Ohio considers "Technology First" for people with disabilities.

Read Shari's blog: Ohio First in Assistive Technology

Editorial: Home Healthcare can be Better with Technology

The Columbus Dispatch published an opinion editorial about how technology can help improve services to people with disabilities receiving home healthcare services. The author points out that there is still a need for providers to be there in-person in certain cases, but combining providers and technology can be a win-win for all involved.

Read the editorial: Home Healthcare can be Better with Technology

Ohio's Technology First Initiative

In 2018, Ohio's Governor signed an Executive Order to name Ohio as a "Technology First" state for people with disabilities. Under the Technology First Executive Order, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities is working with county boards of developmental disabilities to ensure technology is considered as part of all service and support plans for people with disabilities. The executive order is not a technology-only policy but aims to help people learn more about how to use technology to improve their quality of life and how they can experience more independence and personal freedom. 

Read more about remote supports and the Tech First initiative: Technology First

Online Guide to Assistive Technology Lending Libraries

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

Using Technology with Evidence Based Early Intervention Video series

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 video are found here: EI Video Series

Other Resources

Alphabet Soup: A Guide to Disability Related Acronyms

As a self-advocate, you probably hear and read many acronyms used in the disability field. This brochure provides an index of disability-related acronyms and their meanings.

Read the booklet: Alphabet Soup: A Guide to Disability Related Acronyms