March 2023: Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

From the Developmental Disabilities Administration:

Join Us in recognizing Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. It’s a nationwide event to raise awareness about inclusion and addressing the barriers people with developmental disabilities face to ensure everyone has equal access to opportunities in all aspects of life.

This is a key awareness month for DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration. “It aligns with our mission and the work we do every day,” said Shaw Seaman, a DDA office chief who oversees provider compliance, quality assurance and communications.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation – dedicating the month to increasing public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. The goal is the same today and focuses on the importance of inclusion and living life side-by-side. This year’s theme is Beyond the Conversation, focusing on the question, “what next?”

“People with developmental disabilities have come a long way over the past 36 years since President Reagan issued the proclamation,” Seaman said. “Washington state became a national leader in employment for people with disabilities during this time. More than 4,000 people have transitioned from institutional settings to community based residential programs. Looking ahead, there is more work to be done. Currently, DDA’s strategic plan is being updated to support better use of assistive technologies, remote supports, and improved access to information for all with increased video and plain talk communications.”

Celebrate & Educate

  • Watch the videos I Dream of a World, Everyone Wins When Everyone’s Included, and Just Like You.
  • The National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services is presenting free educational opportunities during the month of March, click here to see the schedule of events.
  • Share stories, photos and videos that expand the conversation of inclusion and disabilities on your social media channels using #DDawareness2023 or DDAM2023.
  • Check out the DD Awareness Month Resource Guide with tips and resources to help everyone celebrate the month. This guide will be updated weekly throughout the end of March as new resources are submitted. Check out the NACDD website throughout the month.
  • Get involved with the DD advocacy community! The Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council, which is committed to advocating, promoting, and implementing pathways that help people with IDD to live meaningful, integrated, and productive lives, is looking for council members. Learn more about the opportunity here.
  • Save the date: The Department of Social and Health Services Developmental Disabilities Administration is planning a special screening of the documentary “Unseen.” The film focuses on the lives of parents who are caring for children and adults with disabilities and complex medical needs. We will host a screening and panel discussion about the film from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 19. Watch for our official invitation with the location and RSVP details in an upcoming message.
  • Search social media for #DDawareness2023 or #DDAM2023 and like, comment, share and retweet the posts from others.
  • The Disability Inclusion Network is inviting you to attend our monthly general membership meeting from 9 a.m. – noon, on Thursday, March 9, 2023.


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