March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Today marks the beginning of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. To celebrate this month, Monarch and The Arc of Stanly are joining the nearly 700 chapters nationwide of The Arc, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends in raising awareness throughout the entire month.

The goal is to raise awareness so the community can see that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are people with real, relatable stories, living a life just like everyone else.

People with disabilities enjoy time with their loved ones, learning new things in school, challenging themselves at their places of employment, and traveling the world. Throughout the month of March, individuals with I/DD will be raising public awareness about the issues facing individuals with disabilities.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In his proclamation he invited “all individual, agencies and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.”

So what are some things you can do this month? Look for additional opportunities to volunteer or work with someone who has an I/DD and, in the process, help raise awareness and generate conversations. This movement will serve to harness our collective power to gain allies, foster understanding, dispel myths and encourage people without disabilities to recognize that we’re not so different after all.

The Arc advocates for and serves people with I/DD, including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 665 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.