What is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month all about?
Next month, we will celebrate National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NDDAM). NDDAM offers us the opportunity to celebrate and focus on community inclusion in Delaware. Throughout the month we will recognize the progress, laws, and improvements to services that have occurred because of various grassroots efforts to raise awareness and push for change.
For people with disabilities, inclusion means having the ability to fully participate in their community, to go to school with their peers, to have a job, and to live on their own. When these natural rights weren’t accessible to people with disabilities, concerned citizens made it their mission to speak up for the injustices people were experiencing.
Early advocacy efforts placed Ohio as a trailblazer for inclusion for people with disabilities. Ohio recognized the value of allocating public funds to support people with disabilities by allowing County Boards to place levies on local ballots. Similarly, many Ohio governors signed executive orders that brought the needs of people with disabilities to the forefront of important policy decisions. Years of advocacy efforts have shaped the developmental disability landscape into what we see today.
Through awareness efforts like NDDAM, we celebrate the accomplishments of the past, celebrate the successes of today, and advocate for better tomorrows. I hope you will join us in celebrating NDDAM in March! We truly are #BetterTogether.